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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Ethiopia - Syria

15 Sep 2021

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Displaced families in Nahr-e-Shahi village, Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan (2019). © OCHA/Charlotte Cans

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 15 September 2021

Afghanistan

OCHA reports that the UN and partners continue to deliver aid to millions of people in need, reaching 8 million people with different types of humanitarian assistance across the country in the first half of this year.

Yesterday, the International Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) resumed the distribution of core relief items to internally displaced people in Jalalabad City who had fled conflict in Kunar Province. This includes more than 1,600 people who were provided with relief items by UNHCR on the outskirts of Jalalabad City. Plans are in place for the distribution of core relief items for 5,900 people displaced by conflict.

Also yesterday, a non-governmental organization provided urgently needed fuel to Ghor Hospital in the west of the country, with more support planned from the UN. The health-care system in Afghanistan is on the verge of collapse, with many health facilities reportedly running out of funding, medicine, supplies and staff.

In the south, some 98,000 people who were displaced by conflict reportedly returned to their areas of origin since the Taliban took control of Lashkargah city in Hilmand Province. According to provincial authorities, about 84,000 people who returned to their homes are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, particularly food and shelter, as their houses, agricultural lands and farms were damaged by fighting.

Nearly 635,000 people have been displaced by conflict across Afghanistan in 2021. In addition, some 5.5 million people remain in protracted displacement since 2012.

The Afghanistan Flash Appeal, which requires US$606 million and targets 11 million people with assistance for the remainder of 2021, is only 5 per cent funded.   

Ethiopia

OCHA reports that the humanitarian situation in the northern part of the country, particularly Tigray, remains dire, and is also worsening in neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions.  

Between 5 and 7 September, 147 trucks of humanitarian assistance arrived into Tigray via Afar. Before that, no trucks had been able to go into Tigray since 22 August. This development is welcome, but 100 trucks with food, non-food items and fuel must enter Tigray every single day to meet the scale of needs on the ground. Some supplies have not been able to enter at all, including fuel, without which we are unable to continue our operations.

In another welcome development, the first of the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights arrived in Tigray on 11 September, carrying 7 metric tons of nutritional supplies.  

The UN Humanitarian Air Service passenger flights in and out of Tigray continue to operate two flights per week as planned, with 12 flights having operated to date since July.

The spillover of the conflict in Tigray into Amhara and Afar continues to dramatically increase humanitarian needs, and more than 1.7 million people in both regions are reportedly food insecure. According to regional authorities, more than 140,000 people were displaced in Afar and over 233,000 people were recently displaced in Dessie and Kombolcha in South Wello in Amhara. Despite access constraints to some areas in both regions due to the ongoing hostilities and lack of funds, partners continue to scale up the response and support the authorities’-led response efforts in both regions.

Syria

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths will be briefing the Security Council on Syria this afternoon, following his visit to the region at the end of last month. 

He is expected to brief on the increasing needs facing Syrians after 10 years of conflict, recent developments in accessing people in need following the Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2585 in July, and the need for adequate funding to respond. 

Mr. Griffiths’s full remarks will be available online after the session.