India is experiencing a major surge in COVID-19 cases. The number of cases has risen rapidly in recent weeks, with daily cases reaching a seven-day average of 311,151 cases/day and 2,165 deaths/day last week, up from an average of 16,000 cases/day and 100 deaths/day in early March. The healthcare system in major cities, notably New Delhi, has been severely impacted, with hospitals reporting shortages of oxygen and other critical supplies. The Government has mobilized a major effort to supply oxygen and other critical medical supplies, while States and cities are imposing targeted restrictions. A number of countries including the US, UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the EU have offered bilateral support for oxygen and medical supplies.
A third of the population of Afghanistan (14 million people) is facing acute food insecurity due to conflict, COVID-19, high food prices, and unemployment. About 10 million people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 4.2 million people are in Emergency food insecurity (IPC Phase 4). Nearly half of all children under-five are expected to face acute malnutrition in 2021. La Niña weather patterns that may develop into drought are compounding food insecurity in the country. The full impact of low rainfall at the beginning of the year is still to be determined. In 2021, UN and humanitarian partners need $1.3 billion to help 15.7 million people in need, mainly because of food insecurity. Only $113 million (9 per cent) of the funding has been received so far, forcing some aid organizations to consider discontinuing critical activities.
Armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces and the Kachin Independence Army continued in Bhamo, Hpakant, Momauk, Myitkyina and Tanai townships of Kachin State, resulting in civilian casualties and internal displacement. In Momauk Township, at least 30 people were reportedly displaced on 20 April due to hostilities. Three civilians were injured and a number of houses damaged in the area due to clashes. The resurgence of armed confrontations in Kachin State since mid-March has displaced nearly 5,000 people across Hpakant, Injanyang, Momauk, Shwegu and Waingmaw townships. Around 800 people returned to their villages of origin within a few days and an estimated 4,000 people remain displaced in various sites, including in churches and monasteries. Humanitarian actors and local host communities are doing their best to provide emergency assistance to the newly displaced people, despite the operational challenges and insecurity. Kachin State hosts around 95,000 IDPs in protracted camps established since 2011. Before March 2021, no new population displacement had been reported in Kachin since September 2018.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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