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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Lebanon

16 Aug 2021

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Displaced people in Dand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, December 2020. © OCHA/Fariba Housaini

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 16 August 2021

Afghanistan

OCHA reports that since 1 July, there has been an influx of people fleeing to Kabul and other large cities, seeking safety from the conflict and other threats.

Some 17,500 newly internally displaced people have been identified in the past month. Most of the displaced people arriving in recent days are reported to have arrived from Ghazni and Logar provinces. 

Some 13,500 of these people have received support in the form of food, cash, health care, household items, and water and sanitation support. 

Assessments were ongoing the morning of 15 August, with inter-agency teams deployed around Kabul to assess humanitarian needs.

Despite immense challenges, humanitarian organizations – both the UN and non-governmental organizations – in Afghanistan are committed to stay and deliver aid and services to millions of people in need while adhering to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

The UN remind all parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, including their responsibility to protect civilians and ensure access for humanitarian organizations to reach people in need.

Some 18.4 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. The US$1.3 billion Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan remains just 38 per cent funded, leaving an almost $800 million shortfall.     

Lebanon

In Lebanon on Sunday, a fuel tank exploded in Akkar in northern Lebanon during an informal distribution, reportedly killing 28 people and injuring more than 80 others.

The UN and its humanitarian partners responded immediately with support for the surrounding hospitals, which declared a state of emergency.

Earlier today, the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, Najat Rochdi, led an inter-agency mission to Tripoli to visit hospitals treating patients from the explosion.

The incident comes as Lebanon grapples with a deepening crisis. Fuel and electricity shortages pose immediate challenges, including for the delivery of basic public services.

Major hospitals across the country are operating at reduced capacity. The delivery of life-saving care may be further curtailed due to a lack of electricity. Medical officials have called for immediate help.

In response to the growing fuel crisis, the UN and its partners are activating measures to help ensure the delivery of critical basic services over the coming few months and save lives. 

These efforts follow the UN’s launch last week of the Emergency Response Plan for Lebanon. With the support of international donors, the $378.5 million plan aims to provide life-saving humanitarian support to 1.1 million people among the most vulnerable Lebanese and migrants.

The Emergency Response Plan complements UN and humanitarian partners’ long-standing efforts to support refugee and host communities affected by the Syria crisis, under the auspices of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan.