Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Ethiopia - Pakistan
TitleDaily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Ethiopia - Pakistan
Samre town market, south-eastern Tigray, Ethiopia, 25 April 2021. © OCHA Ethiopia/Jordi Casafont Torra
Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 9 June 2021
On 8 June, an attack on the Halo Trust NGO in Baghlan-e-Markazi district in northern Afghanistan killed 10 people and injured 16 others. The organization works to clear landmines and other explosives and better the lives of vulnerable people.
The United Nations strongly condemns the heinous attack and sends heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wishes for a speedy and full recovery to the injured. We further call for a full investigation to ensure that those responsible for any violations are held accountable and brought to justice.
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are committed to stay and deliver in Afghanistan, however, aid workers – particularly female personnel – are facing increased attacks and interference in their work. Between January and April this year, 11 aid workers were killed, 27 injured and 36 abducted. Interference with humanitarian activities escalated in 2020, with a 140 per cent increase in incidents compared with 2019. This escalating trend continues in 2021.
Parties to the conflict in Afghanistan are strongly urged to protect civilians, aid workers and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, in compliance with international humanitarian law.
OCHA reports that the security situation in Tigray continues to be challenging and unpredictable, affecting humanitarian operations, hindering access, and impeding sustained humanitarian and protection presence on the ground.
Incidents of denial of humanitarian movement, interrogation, assault and detention of humanitarian workers at military checkpoints, looting and confiscation of humanitarian assets and supplies by the parties to the conflict continue to be reported.
Several areas in the region remain inaccessible. Of the accessible areas, the situation is dire, including dysfunctional water systems and limited or no health facilities.
Levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are at alarming levels. Preliminary field reports from Axum and Adwa in Central Zone indicate visible signs of starvation among internally displaced people, where women and children look extremely weak, emaciated, and are falling asleep for extended periods of time. In a community in North-Western Zone, aid workers noted severe need for food, after the harvests have been burned or looted.
Urgent life-saving and serious protection needs persist across the region. Partners received concerning information that the Government has instructed to proceed with IDP relocation and return to areas of origin. Any returns of IDPs must be voluntary, safe, fully informed, dignified and in line with minimum protection standards.
Humanitarian partners continue to scale up the response as quickly as possible, despite challenges. More than 560,000 people were reached with food assistance last week, bringing the number of people reached since late March to more than 3.3 million people out of the targeted 5.2 million people.
Nutrition partners are increasing nutrition screening, reaching more than 34,000 children under age 5 last week, up from about 21,000 children a week earlier. Mobile health and nutrition teams reached more than 16,000 people with medical consultations during the last week of May, up from about 11,000 people a week earlier.
The UN continues to call for safe, unimpeded and sustained access to scale up the humanitarian response to help all people in need. More funding is urgently needed for the scale-up.
The 2021 Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan was launched today at a joint event hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations in Pakistan.
The Plan seeks to mobilize support and assistance for the most vulnerable 4.3 million people in Pakistan who have been driven into a protracted cycle of humanitarian need by a series of overlapping shocks, including extreme weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Plan also highlights the generosity and compassion shown by Pakistan in hosting more than 3 million Afghan nationals, including 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees holding a proof of registration card, 0.84 million Afghan citizenship cardholders, and an estimated 400,000–600,000 undocumented Afghans.
The life-saving response activities called for in the Plan amount to a requirement of US$332 million and include food security and livelihood assistance, nutrition programmes, primary health services including water and sanitation, women’s health and education support, as well as shelter for displaced people.