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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan, the Sahel, Ukraine, Sudan

27 Jun 2022

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An old man sits in front of a  house destroyed by the recent earthquake in Khost province, Afghanistan. Credit: Sardar Shafaq / Anadolu Agency via AFP

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –   27 June 2022

Afghanistan

The Humanitarian Country Team in the country today launched an emergency appeal following last week’s earthquake. The appeal calls for $110 million to urgently help 362,000 men, women and children for the next three months in the hardest-hit areas in the provinces of Paktika and Khost.

In addition to the deaths and injuries caused by the earthquake, it also destroyed homes, health facilities, schools and water networks, leaving thousands vulnerable to further harm. This new appeal is part of this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan, which calls for $4.4 billion, but is massively underfunded at just over one third.

We and our partners are borrowing supplies, personnel, and resources from other humanitarian programmes. Last Friday – that’s June25th – the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, announced the release of $10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to support the response to the earthquake.

For his part, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Ramiz Alakbarov, visited the areas impacted by the earthquake. He urged the international community to dig deep at this time, as the population confronts yet another emergency, and to pledge support to these life-saving and life-sustaining efforts.

The Sahel

Humanitarian partners are concerned over the rapidly exacerbating crisis in the region, where today, more than 30 million men, women and children need life-saving assistance and protection. This marks an increase of almost two million people since last year.

Armed conflict is driving humanitarian needs. Since 2015, the number of security incidents in the Central Sahel has increased eighteen-fold and the number of deaths has climbed more than twelve-fold. Between June and August of this year, more than 18.6 million people – that’s 15 per cent of all people in the Sahel – are expected to experience severe food insecurity, including 2.1 million people experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity.

More than 6.3 million people – a record – have been forced to flee their homes, with more than one third of these people displaced by the cross-border crisis in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Temperatures in the Sahel are rising 1.5 times faster than the global average. The number of floods and other extreme weather events has nearly doubled between 2015 and 2021.

We have called for $3.8 billion to respond to needs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, but it is only 15 per cent funded so far. In 2021, we received just over half of the required funding, but we and our partners helped more than 15.7 million people in the region.

Last month, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, released $30 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to scale up the response in the Sahel. This brings the total amount from CERF to the Sahel response to almost $100 million since the start of this year.

Ukraine

There have been disturbing reports of a new wave of airstrikes and shelling over the weekend and again today, with civilians having been killed or injured. Homes, health facilities and other civilian infrastructure were reportedly damaged.

Just a few hours ago, our colleagues say a missile struck the centre of the city of Kremenchuk, which had, until now, not been affected by the war. A shopping mall was struck and authorities believe there were large numbers of civilians inside. It is too soon to report on the number of casualties, but whatever the number is, an attack that hits a shopping mall is utterly deplorable. 

During the weekend, the capital, Kyiv, was hit again, and a residential building was damaged, with some people were trapped in the debris. Missiles have also struck areas in the west of the country, far from the frontlines. In Rivnenska oblast, for example, our partners tell us that at least one civilian was killed and four injured by an explosion caused by a strike that hit a carwash.

In several other oblasts, civilians have also been impacted, and the information we have is that attacks caused dozens of civilian casualties, although we cannot verify the numbers. Fighting continue in the Donbas region, where our humanitarian colleagues are facing tremendous challenges in reaching people who face increasing needs. The challenges are not only due to insecurity, but also to lack of access due to administrative restrictions imposed by the parties.

We strongly condemn the impact on civilians of these latest attacks, and we once again stress that the parties are obliged under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Sudan

The conflict in Sudan has driven more than 67,000 people from their homes this month alone.

In the area of Kulbus in West Darfur, 25 villages were burned and looted. Many families are living out in the open and have lost their livestock and food supplies. In the villages of Werywery, Kafani and Adawi, also in West Darfur, dozens are children are reportedly missing, with five having been killed in the clashes.

Our partners are helping 33,000 people in West Darfur impacted by the violence. OCHA also recently led an assessment mission to the Saraf Omra and As Sireaf regions of North Darfur to see how to help some 19,000 newly displaced people.