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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Ethiopia

02 Jun 2021

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Samre town in south-eastern Tigray, Ethiopia, 25 April 2021. © OCHA Ethiopia/Jordi Casafont Torra

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 2 June 2021

Afghanistan

Heavy fighting and air strikes continue from last week, impacting nearly all districts of Laghman Province, while there are reports that fighting is spreading into new areas in neighbouring Nuristan and Nangarhar provinces. Up to 14,000 people are reportedly displaced within Laghman Province, while new internally displaced people have also reached Jalalabad city.

Fighting and armed clashes have further forced more than 10,500 people to flee their homes in different parts of Imam-Sahib district, Kunduz Province. The IDPs are seeking shelters in Kunduz city and have dispersed across surrounding villages. Houses and agricultural lands have reportedly been severely damaged due to the use of artillery and air strikes.

Assessment teams from the UN and humanitarian partners are working to confirm the impact of the situation across the affected provinces. Responses have also begun in Laghman and Kunduz, where distributions of food; cash for non-food items; health support; and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance are under way.

In 2021, almost 116,000 people have been displaced by conflict, while close to 5 million people remain in protracted displacement since 2012. The UN urges the parties to the conflict to better protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, in compliance with international humanitarian law.

Urgent funding is needed for Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Response Plan, which requires US$1.3 billion to help 15.7 million people. Only $172 million (13 per cent) in funding has been received so far.

 

Ethiopia

OCHA says that the overall security situation in Tigray region remains highly complex and fluid. Ongoing active hostilities are highly mobile, mostly in rural areas, hindering planning and expanding humanitarian operations. While hostilities have largely ceased in boundary areas with Eritrea, from North-Western to Eastern Zones, since March, access to these areas is often denied.

Violence and attacks against civilians, including humanitarian workers, continue. Last Friday, a humanitarian worker working with an international non-governmental organization was killed in a cross-fire during an attack outside the Government building in Adigrat Town, Eastern Zone. Since the start of the conflict, nine aid workers have been killed in Tigray, all Ethiopian nationals.

Levels of food insecurity and malnutrition remain alarming. Twenty-one per cent of more than 21,000 children under age 5 screened for malnutrition last week were identified with severe wasting, alarmingly above the emergency 15 per cent threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health facilities continue to receive and treat survivors of gender-based violence throughout the region, with 1,288 official cases reported between February and April. The reported numbers greatly underestimate the actual cases, as underreporting is widespread.

From 27 March to 31 May, UN agencies and partners reached more than 2.8 million people out of the targeted 5.2 million people with food assistance. To date, about 430,000 people, which is only 15 per cent of the targeted 3 million people, have been reached with emergency shelter and non-food items.

Humanitarian partners are gradually scaling up the response, but not yet keeping pace with the mounting needs, due to a combination of access constraints, insufficient communications capacity, bureaucratic impediments, and lack of funding.