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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Iraq

11 Jan 2021


Mazar, Afghanistan, November 2019. © OCHA/Charlotte Cans

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 11 January 2021


Ongoing conflict, natural disasters, chronic poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be a deadly combination for people in Afghanistan.

In 2021, nearly half the population will need humanitarian assistance to survive. Food insecurity is soaring as people’s livelihoods were lost. Some 5.5 million people in Afghanistan are in emergency food insecurity phase (IPC 4), the second highest number in the world (after the Democratic Republic of the Congo]. It is projected that nearly one in two children under five will face acute malnutrition this year.

With sky-rocketing household debt, people’s survival depends on the UN's ability to mobilize sufficient funds to deliver a well-coordinated response.

This year, the UN and humanitarian partners seek US$1.3 billion to assist almost 16 million people with life-saving aid. This is up from a target of 2.3 million people four years ago.



In a statement issued yesterday, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Ms. Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, expressed sorrow over the death of a humanitarian deminer in Iraq on 7 January.

The deceased had worked for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for six years and was killed in an explosion in Telefar District in Ninewa Governorate. An additional Mines Advisory Group staff member and three other individuals were injured during the incident.

On behalf of the UN, the Humanitarian Coordinator conveyed her sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues deeply affected by this loss. She also extended her wishes for the speedy recovery of those that were injured.

This tragic incident underscores the dangers that explosive hazard contamination continue to pose in Iraq. Clearance of explosive ordnances is an essential step in the recovery from years of conflict. No critical infrastructure can be rebuilt, basic services restored, or displaced families return home safely until such explosive clearance activities take place.

The Humanitarian Coordinator commends the humanitarian mine action community in Iraq for their dedication in carrying out such dangerous yet crucial work, in service of a safer future for humanity.