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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Nigeria - Syria

21 Jan 2022

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Badghis Province, Afghanistan. © OCHA Afghanistan

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 20 January 2022

Afghanistan

Preliminary findings of a joint UN and NGO assessment in Qadis District in western Afghanistan [Badghis Province] indicate that up to 1,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by the 5.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the district on 17 January.

According to information received from local sources, the number of deaths due to the earthquake has risen to 27.

While assessments are ongoing, initial observations in villages show that communities have also been heavily affected by damages to water sources. They need to be repaired to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

Food, non-food items, emergency shelter and other assistance is being provided by the International Organization for Migration, the UN Refugee Agency, the World Food Programme and other humanitarian partners. 

Meanwhile, a polio vaccination campaign in Kunduz has been carried out successfully since the start of the year. In Badakhshan Province, a house-to-house polio immunization campaign is under way.

 

Nigeria

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths yesterday concluded a four-day visit to Nigeria, where he saw first-hand the humanitarian situation and response in the north-east. 

His visit also sought to raise international awareness about the humanitarian challenges and draw attention to the ongoing regional conflict affecting the Lake Chad basin.

Mr. Griffiths met with the Vice-President and members of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Chief of Defence Staff, and the Governor of Borno State. In the north-east, he met with Nigerians who have been affected by violence, and humanitarian partners in Maiduguri, Bama and Damasak.

Mr. Griffiths said it was heartbreaking to see the deep impact of the violence and repeated displacement of so many. He said that the people he met demonstrated amazing courage in the face of vicious violence, killings, kidnappings, repeated displacement and sometimes bare survival. 

The conflict in the Lake Chad basin has taken a heavy toll on communities across border areas of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, putting more than 10 million people at risk and in need of humanitarian assistance. 

Last year, the humanitarian community provided assistance to more than 5 million people in need in Nigeria. The 2022 Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan, which is expected to be launched in February, requires over US$1 billion. It sets out the humanitarian community’s plan to assist 8.4 million people in need this year.
 

Syria

In Syria, snow, cold rain and severe winter weather across the north are compounding the misery of people already struggling with conflict, mass displacement and economic crisis. 

The 1.7 million displaced people living in over 1,400 camps and other informal settlements across the north-west are suffering the most from the severe weather. 

Since Tuesday, 18 January, heavy snow has impacted more than 100,000 displaced people in 85 sites. More than 1,000 tents have been damaged or destroyed, as heavy snow has collapsed their roofs. Women, children and the elderly have been exposed to the cold. One child was killed when a tent collapsed; the mother is in intensive care. 

Heavy rainfall has caused misery in hundreds of other sites hosting more than 150,000 people.

The UN and our humanitarian partners are responding. 

The most pressing needs include opening up roads to the displacement sites so that aid can reach people in need, relocating people without shelter to safer places, providing heating, replacing destroyed tents, and providing food and other essential assistance. 

The UN has been preparing for the winter response before the current storms and identified 2.2 million people who need winterization assistance. But a lack of resources meant that only half of the people who need help have received it. 

The UN calls for continued support to meet the humanitarian needs of millions of vulnerable people in need in north-west Syria and throughout the country.