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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Ethiopia

29 Sep 2021

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A World Food Programme convoy of trucks prepares to depart for Kandahar, Afghanistan, carrying nutrition supplies.© WFP Afghanistan

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 29 September 2021

Afghanistan

The World Health Organization (WHO) today warned of a deteriorating health situation in the country. Access to health care is decreasing. There are more cases of measles and diarrhoea, and less response to COVID-19. And there is also a resurgence of polio. 

According to WHO, only 17 per cent of the over 2,300 health facilities previously supported by the World Bank [Sehatmandi project] are fully functional. Two thirds of these health facilities have run out of essential medicines. WHO is working with donors to sustain these [World Bank-supported] health facilities to prevent a surge in deaths.

Also, today, several humanitarian partners working in Afghanistan [Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Heads of WHO, OCHA, UNICEF and the International Committee for the Red Cross] reiterated their commitment to continue working together to support Afghanistan’s health system.

Yesterday, 28 September, the heads of the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF in Afghanistan said that they will scale up, up to 100 new mobile health and nutrition teams for maximum reach and continuity of services. 

WFP, UNICEF and other partners will support health service providers whose services would otherwise be put on hold at the end of September due to the suspension of funding. This will allow the continued provision of services, including treatment of acute malnutrition.

Afghanistan’s Flash Appeal seeks US$606 million to help 11 million people in the remaining months of 2021. The appeal is 22 per cent funded [$135 million]. 

The UN urges donors to fast-track funding to prevent avoidable deaths, prevent displacement and reduce suffering. The UN also calls on donors to ensure that funding is flexible enough to adapt to the fast-changing conditions on the ground.

 

Ethiopia

OCHA reports that the delivery of humanitarian supplies, including fuel into Tigray, remains heavily constrained through the only road access route in Afar (the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor). 

In the past week [between 21 and 28 September], 79 trucks with humanitarian supplies arrived in Tigray via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor. This brings the total number of humanitarian trucks that have entered Tigray since 12 July to 606 trucks. One hundred trucks are needed daily. 

There is still a denial of access into Tigray for trucks with fuel and medical supplies, with trucks waiting in Semera to move to Mekelle.

Commercial supplies have been blocked since 28 June, causing severe shortages of essential commodities and a sharp rise in prices. The price of cooking oil has increased by 400 per cent, salt by 300 per cent, rice by 100 per cent and teff by 90 per cent.

Humanitarian partners continue to respond to urgent needs in Tigray, but with a significantly reduced capacity due to the depletion of stocks and resources. 

Between 16 and 22 September, partners provided food to more than 126,000 people. But more than half of these people received less food than planned due to shortages of stocks. In comparison, more than 242,000 people received food assistance a week earlier. At least 5.2 million people need food aid in Tigray.

The UN and its humanitarian partners continue to scale up the humanitarian response in conflict affected areas of Afar and Amhara. 

The World Food Programme provided food to more than 52,000 internally displaced people in Afar, and to more than 163,000 people in Amhara. International NGO partners also provided food to more than 201,000 people in Amhara. 

The UN welcomes the arrival of additional trucks to Tigray this week and continues to urgently call on the Government of Ethiopia to allow and facilitate the unimpeded entry of supplies and equipment, including cash and fuel into Tigray.