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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights-Afghanistan-Syria-Ethiopia-Philippines

30 Jul 2021

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A displaced family in Tigray. Credit: OCHA/Saviano Abreu

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 30 July 2021

Afghanistan

Fighting between Government forces and non-state armed groups continues across Afghanistan.  There has been an alarming increase in civilian casualties and injuries, including women and children, in Kandahar City as clashes have continued in the Kandahar and Hilmand  provinces.

Fighting has also been reported in new areas in the northeast province of Kunar, displacing 20,000 people within the province, and to Nangahar Province. Nine UN and partner organizations’ teams are assessing needs in Kandahar. Last week, about 1,800 internally displaced people received food, relief items, and water and sanitation hygiene support as well as physiotherapy and cash assistance. In Kunar, UN and partner organizations are assessing needs and responding. Urgent needs include food, water, shelter and health services.

So far in 2021, 330,000 people have been displaced by conflict across Afghanistan. Another 5 million people remain displaced since 2012.

Meanwhile, tens of people have died with more casualties expected following severe flooding in the hard-to-reach Kamdesh District, in Nuristan Province, eastern Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Red Crescent Society, the only organization with access to Kamdesh, is sending a mobile health team and will provide temporary shelter. The UN is negotiating access with a non-state armed group, and will provide medical supplies, food and other relief items. Afghan authorities will mobilize additional support from Kabul.

We urge donors to support the people of Afghanistan who have suffered a deadly combination of 40 years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humanitarian partners need US$1.3 billion to help almost 16 million people in 2021, but only 38 per cent of required funding has been received.

Syria

The UN is very concerned about reports of civilian causalities and displacement due to hostilities in Dara’a Al Balad in Syria and the risk of further escalation.

We are monitoring the humanitarian situation closely, including reports of a period of relative calm today as discussions to reach a local agreement were underway. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented, however, the death of eight civilians including a woman and four children, with another six civilians, including two children, injured between 27 and 29 July.

The UN has also confirmed the displacement of 2,500 people due to violence and insecurity over the last 72 hours, with reports received of the displacement of over 10,000 people. Most of the displaced have moved towards Dara’a City where they are mainly being hosted by the local community. Some residents of Dara’a Al Balad have exited through the Saraya crossing points.

We have also seen reports that Dara’a national hospital, which remains operational, has been affected by ongoing clashes in the past day, directly affecting water tanks and the dialysis unit.  The UN is working to confirm the reports of additional displacement and attacks impacting the Dara’a national hospital.  UN and humanitarian partners are also working to scale up the humanitarian response to people in need in Dara’a Al Balad, and in the areas of temporary displacement.

We reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for a nationwide ceasefire and urge all parties to de-escalate the situation and ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law. The UN further calls upon parties to ensure safe, sustained, and unimpeded access to all in need. There can be no military solution to the conflict in Syria. The UN will remain relentless in our pursuit of a negotiated political settlement in line with Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

Ethiopia

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and  Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Martin Griffiths, arrived today in the Tigray region by a UN Humanitarian Air Service flight.
ERC Griffiths visited a site for internally displaced people, and heard from people affected by the crisis. He was also briefed by humanitarian partners in Mekelle on the challenges they face.  An estimated 5.2 million people (about 90 per cent of the population) need humanitarian assistance in Tigray.
 
The Philippines
As of 29 July at least 38,000 people have been displaced by floods following southwest monsoon rains in the Philippines. Several people have died, and others have been injured, with more than 500 houses damaged, according to authorities.  The floods have also affected agricultural commodities such as rice, corn, high-value crops, and livestock, with damages estimated at $10 million. UN and humanitarian partners stand ready to support the response as requested.  The Red Cross is supporting evacuation and providing food in the evacuation centres. Local governments are leading and coordinating response efforts and providing relief items.