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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Myanmar

27 Sep 2021

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The World Food Programme is scaling up assistance for farmers in Afghanistan hit hard by this year’s drought. © WFP Afghanistan

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 27 September 2021

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, OCHA reports that the humanitarian response continues across the country. 

The World Food Programme has provided food assistance to 6.9 million people this year, reaching 1 million people with more than 13,000 metric tons of food in September alone.

The International Organization for Migration has constructed a community centre in Baghlan, in northern Afghanistan, to be used by an estimated 700 households. The organization has assessed the needs of more than 2,500 displaced people in Kabul, Sar-e Pl, Balkh, Kunduz and Takhar. Their Rapid Response Teams also screened nearly 60,000 people for COVID-19 at border points.  

Thousands of health facilities have been left without funding for medical supplies and salaries for health staff. Urgent action is required to scale up the health response and prevent a total breakdown of the health-care services across the country.

Last week, Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths released US$45 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to prevent Afghanistan’s health-care system from collapse. More funding is needed to scale up this response.

The UN urges donors to support our Flash Appeal for $606 million, to get urgent assistance to 11 million people in the next four months.

 

Myanmar

Myanmar is facing a humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 and events following 1 February. 

About 3 million people require humanitarian assistance, including an additional 2 million people identified since 1 February this year. The most vulnerable remain families living in urban and peri-urban areas, mainly in Yangon and Mandalay, as well as people affected by conflict in south-eastern and western Myanmar. 

More than 220,000 people have been internally displaced due to armed clashes as well as overall insecurity since 1 February. The areas most affected include Kachin, Shan, Chin, Kayah and Kayin states and adjacent townships in Sagaing and Magway. 

While some families have returned to their places of origin, many continue to live in precarious conditions, including makeshift jungles and remote areas, often without access to basic services, including shelter and non-food items. The situation in Rakhine State remains calm, although the situation remains dire. Food insecurity is becoming an evolving concern, with reports of food shortage in displacement sites and communities in northern Shan and Rakhine states.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains deeply concerning. As of 24 September, more than 455,000 cases and 17,000 deaths have been reported. It is likely that the numbers are higher due to low testing capacity in-country.

The UN and its humanitarian partners have been working to respond to the impacts of the ongoing displacement, growing food insecurity and COVID-19. However, continued challenges in accessing people in need remains a fundamental challenge due to ongoing insecurity, bureaucratic impediments and disruptions to the banking systems/cash liquidity issues.

Despite the challenges, humanitarian response continues. For example, since May, the World Food Programme has supported more than 800,000 vulnerable people in its large-scale urban food response in Yangon peri-urban areas.

Myanmar’s 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, which requires $276.5 million to help more than 3 million people, is 47 per cent funded, leaving a deficit of $146 million.