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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Sudan - Syria

11 Jan 2022

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Heavy rains damaged tents in Umm al-Jarn camp, near the town of Kafr Arouq, north of Idlib, Syria, in December 2021. © OCHA/Bilal Al-Hammoud

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 11 January 2022

Afghanistan

Today, OCHA and humanitarian partners launched the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022, seeking US$4.44 billion to reach 22 million people in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance across the country. 

The Afghanistan Regional Refugee Response Plan was also launched, calling for $623 million to help 5.7 million displaced Afghans and local communities in five neighbouring countries. 

In a joint press release, Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said that events in Afghanistan over the past year had unfolded with dizzying speed and with profound consequences for the Afghan people. Noting that a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe looms, he called on the world to not shut the door on the people of Afghanistan.

In other news related to Afghanistan, yesterday, 10 January, eight children were reportedly killed, and four others injured when an unexploded ordnance detonated in front of a local school in Beganano area, in Lal Pur District of Nangarhar Province. All 12 children were boys.

In a statement, UNICEF said that the incident underlines how important it is for the international community to support Afghanistan to clear explosive ordnance and remnants of war.

There is also a need to educate children and their communities about the risks of unexploded ordnance and the preventive measures to take. The use of explosive weapons, particularly in populated areas, is a persistent and growing threat to children and their families.

 

Sudan 

The Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022 has been launched. It aims to provide humanitarian assistance to 10.9 million vulnerable people at a cost of $1.9 billion. More than $800 million will go to life-saving activities. 

Sudan is experiencing increasing humanitarian needs largely driven by the economic recession that started in 2018, acute food insecurity, conflict, large-scale displacement, natural hazards, such as floods, as well as reduced social service delivery and capacity to respond to disease outbreaks, including COVID 19. 

The Humanitarian Response Plan prioritizes life-saving multi-sectoral assistance including essential health services, prevention and treatment of water-borne and vector-borne diseases, and access to education, livelihoods, and water and sanitation. 

In 2021, aid workers reached over 8.1 million people with some form of assistance in Sudan. 

This year, humanitarian organizations estimate that about 14.3 million people across Sudan will need humanitarian assistance. This includes the Darfurs – where half of the people are estimated to be extremely vulnerable – Khartoum and South Kordofan. 

Early and flexible humanitarian funding is urgently required with needs and the magnitude of severity, and the levels of deprivation faced by vulnerable people increasing. 

 

Syria

The UN continues to deliver aid to 3.4 million people in need in the north-west through the Security Council authorized cross-border mechanism. 

Last July, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2585, authorizing the UN to deliver humanitarian aid cross-border into north-west Syria for six months, with an extension of an additional six months “subject to the issuance of the Secretary General’s substantive report, with particular focus on transparency in operations, and progress on cross-line access in meeting humanitarian needs”. 

Today marks the start of the second six months of the resolution, following the issuance in December of the Secretary-General’s substantive report and the ensuing discussion in the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution. 

The cross-border operation remains a lifeline for Syrians in north-west Syria, providing enough food and other essential humanitarian items for an average of 2.4 million people per month. Thousands of UN trucks cross each year through the remaining authorized border crossing point at Bab al-Hawa. Operations continued today unimpeded. 

The UN cross-border operation has been complimented by two UN cross-line convoys in 2021, providing aid from government-controlled parts of Syria. 

As the Secretary-General has said, cross-line deliveries cannot at this point replace the massive scale of the cross-border operation, but they are important. Both of those operations are essential to support the 3.4 million people in need in the north-west.

Maintaining the humanitarian response is critical in north-west Syria, where civilians are affected by ongoing conflict, severe economic crisis, COVID-19, and difficult winter weather. The winter season is especially difficult in north-west Syria where 2.8 million people are internally displaced, including 1.7 million people living in camps or informal settlements. 

The UN continues to call on all parties to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded access to all in need, and for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.