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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Ukraine

23 Jun 2022

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Bora, her husband and five children have been living at Rugabo primary school (Rutshuru center) since March 2022. Photo credit: OCHA/ Endurance Lum Nji

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –   23 June 2022

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Violence has displaced at least 158,000 people in the eastern Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories, most of them women and children, in the last three months [since March].

This week alone [between 19 and 21 June], at least 13 civilians, including four children, were killed during fighting in Rutshuru, according to local authorities.

Several villages in Rutshuru have been emptied of inhabitants. Displaced people are sheltering in churches, schools and other makeshift areas, with several thousand others taken in by host families.

Despite access and funding constraints, humanitarian interventions by UN agencies and NGO partners continue in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo. Food has been distributed, and health, water and sanitation services made accessible since March. Humanitarians are working to step up aid distribution.

This crisis is compounding an already fragile humanitarian situation in North Kivu and other eastern provinces, such as Ituri and South Kivu.

To date, the humanitarian appeal for the DRC is only 20 per cent funded.

Afghanistan

Earthquake relief efforts

Following yesterday’s deadly earthquake, priority needs include emergency shelter and non-food items, food assistance, health and water and sanitation hygiene support.

The UN Refugee Agency has dispatched tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, and kitchen sets, among other items, for 4,000 people. The World Food Programme has confirmed in-kind food stocks for 14,000 people in hardest-hit Paktika Province.

The UN Children’s Fund has also pre-positioned non-food items in Paktika and Khost provinces and supported medical evacuations [from Urgun district to Giyan district] in Paktika. The UN Population Fund has confirmed capacity to provide dignity kits and support to health facilities in affected areas. In addition, seven teams from the International Organization for Migration are on the ground in Paktika and Khost for assessments.

And as we reported yesterday, the World Health Organization has provided 10 tonnes of medical supplies sufficient for 5,400 surgeries, and medical treatments covering 36,000 people for three months. Meanwhile, OCHA today coordinated the deployment of assessment teams to Khost and Paktika provinces, as well as to Gardez in Paktia Province. Local coordination with the de-facto authorities is ongoing.

The risk of cholera outbreaks are of particular concern in southeast Afghanistan, where cases of acute watery diarrhoea were already rising prior to yesterday’s earthquake. Preparations are underway to avoid an outbreak, including through oral vaccinations and hygiene response activities.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov is expected to lead a team to the affected areas in the coming days to support the coordination of response efforts.

Ukraine

The UN and our humanitarian colleagues have today raised alarm about the civilian impact of intense hostilities in the Donbas region, which has left a significant number of civilians killed and injured over the last 48 hours, according to our partners and local sources.

As mentioned on Monday 20 June, we managed to deliver vital assistance to some 25,000 people in Sloviansk, some 10 kilometres from the frontlines, in the territory under control of the Ukrainian Government. Just one day after, the mayor of the city called on people to evacuate, after hours intense shelling.

UN colleagues who went there the day before, mentioned the harsh living conditions people who stayed in the city are faced with: no water, high food prices, and endless hours hiding from hostilities.

On the other side of the frontlines, our humanitarian colleagues report that densely-populated areas of the cities of Donetsk and Makiivka have been under heavy bombardment over the last 48 hours, reportedly leaving many civilians dead. As you know, insecurity makes it challenge for the UN to verify the exact impact.

In non-Government-controlled areas of Donetska oblast, water is extremely limited and across Government-controlled areas of the oblast more than 350,000 users—including health centres—have not had electricity for many weeks.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, has called again on the parties to the conflict to facilitate safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all regions of the country. She stressed that despite engagement to negotiate access, humanitarians have been prevented from reaching critical areas, including Mariupol, Kherson, and most recently Sievierodonetsk. We will continue trying.