Afghanistan

UNICEF Afghanistan Humanitarian Situation Report #3, 1-28 February 2022

Attachments

Highlights

  • UNICEF began the distribution of emergency cash support for an estimated 194,000 public teachers with 113,868 teachers paid in February.

  • UNICEF estimates 3.2 million children in Afghanistan will suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022, and a million severely malnourished children are at risk of death, if immediate action is not taken.

  • During the reporting period, more than 31,000 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) following the screening of nearly one million children.

  • There has been a sharp rise of more than 13,400 measles cases this year, bringing the total since Jan 2021 to 43,988 cases (80 per cent among children under five). UNICEF is working with partners on a measles-outbreak campaign as an immediate response.

  • With UNICEF support, more than 99,580 people received life-saving protection services including 1,435 separated and unaccompanied children who benefitted from family-tracing and reunification services.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

The UNICEF Afghanistan Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal is the largest in the history of the organization, valued at US$ 2 billion for 2022. Thanks to partners’ generous contributions, the appeal is currently 24 per cent funded. This includes flexible emergency funding from both public and private partners, which will enable UNICEF to utilize resources to respond to rising and sudden needs. Some contributions received in 2021 will continue to support implementation in 2022, including funds from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, the European Union (International Partnerships and Humanitarian Aid), and the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and France. UNICEF is grateful to the Asian Development Bank, the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the Government of the United Kingdom, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Government of Japan, the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) and the UNICEF family of National Committees for contributions received during the last month. UNICEF will continue to partner with donors to ensure sufficient resources are mobilized to address the needs of children and communities in Afghanistan.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

More than half of Afghanistan’s population (22.8 million people) are acutely food insecure, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report, while more than 24.4 million people are in need of humanitarian support. UNICEF estimates that 3.2 million children in Afghanistan will suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022, and a million severely malnourished children are at risk of death, if immediate action is not taken. The nutrition situation is further compounded by the signficant rise in measles cases. Between 1 January 2021 and 26 February 2022, 43,988 cases of measles and 232 measles-related deaths were reported across the country with Helmand, Kandahar, Balkh, Paktika, Ghor and Ghazni the most affected provinces. 1 Of the reported cases, 80 per cent were among children under five. In response, UNICEF is supporting a measles campaign in 49 high-burden districts planned for March. Additional infectious diseases cases were also reported, including 74 new cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) with a heightened risk of increasing AWD cases as the weather warms and access to safe water remains challenging. Two-thirds of the population of Afghanistan are now resorting to crisis-level coping strategies to feed their families. This is an eight per cent point increase from December and a sixfold increase since August 2021. Almost 100 per cent of female-headed households are facing insufficient food consumption2 . In Kabul, wheat flour prices in early February 2022 were 81 per cent above the five-year average.

On February 24th, eight polio health workers, including four women, were shot and killed in separate attacks by unidentified gunmen in the northern provinces of Kunduz and Takhar. Local officials in Kunduz confirmed that seven workers providing polio vaccinations were killed in three separate attacks by the unidentified gunmen in Kunduz's capital city, as well as in Imam Sahib district. One member of the vaccination transit team was killed in Taloqan district in Takhar province. This highlights the security risks facing health workers across the country and puts millions of Afghan children at risk of contracting polio due to the suspension of the vaccination campaign by the de facto authorities.