Secretary-General's latest report
The UN Secretary-General's quarterly report to the Security Council released on 7 March 2014 provides an update of UNAMA's activities since 6 December 2013, listed below. For a full copy of the latest report, click here.
V. Humanitarian assistance
32. On 16 December, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, launched the global humanitarian plans for 2014, including a funding request of $406 million for Afghanistan. The Common Humanitarian Action Plan for Afghanistan estimates that 5.4 million people will require access to health services this year, including emergency trauma care, which is a top priority, given needs that currently dramatically exceed response capacity. The Plan also prioritizes the provision of assistance to 2.2 million people assessed as very severely food insecure. The third group identified as having acute unmet needs are internally displaced persons.
33. In 2013, 124,000 persons were recorded as newly displaced as a result of conflict, reflecting a 25 per cent increase compared with 2012. This brought the cumulative total of internally displaced persons in Afghanistan recorded by the United Nations to more than 630,000, from 20 of the 34 provinces. Helmand, Maidan Wardak, Faryab and Nangarhar Provinces recorded the highest levels of displacement, reflecting increased ground engagements. Moreover, continuing drought in the western region contributed to the displacement of some 1,000 families at the end of 2013, many initially to Chaghcharan, in Ghor Province, and then to Herat. Between mid-December 2013 and mid-February 2014, winter assistance was provided to vulnerable populations, including 35,000 internally displaced persons, in Wardak, Nuristan, Ghor, Ghazni, Paktya and Faryab Provinces and to another 30,000 people in informal settlements in and around Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat. On 11 February, the Government of Afghanistan, with United Nations support, launched the national policy on internal displacement. It set forth the roles and responsibilities of various Government ministries and agencies and their development and humanitarian partners, including the United Nations. An implementation strategy is now to be developed. The return of refugees to Afghanistan declined by 59 per cent in 2013 compared with 2012, with 38,766 Afghan refugees voluntarily repatriating.
34. Vaccination campaigns continued to work towards the elimination of polio in Afghanistan, one of the last remaining countries reporting the disease. In 2013, there were 14 reported cases down from 37 in 2012 and 80 in 2011. Since mid-December, three campaigns have been conducted in the 41 districts at highest risk, resulting in the vaccination of more than 2.7 million children under 5 years of age. One of these was conducted in Kabul, where a child was confirmed to have contracted the disease in early February, the first case to have been recorded in the capital since the fall of the Taliban regime. The polio programme has enjoyed access to otherwise inaccessible areas.
35. Between January and December 2013, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs registered 283 security incidents, involving humanitarian personnel, facilities and assets across 33 provinces. These had a combination of deliberate and accidental impacts, resulting in the deaths of 38 personnel, 29 arrests and detentions of staff, 50 staff injuries and 84 staff abductions. This included the brief abduction on 21 January of 67 deminers in Herat, the largest number of personnel involved in a single incident in recent years.
36. On 22 January, the Common Humanitarian Fund was formally established with more than $30 million committed by donors by mid-February. This fund channels unearmarked contributions towards needs-based assistance, with priority given to the most critical needs identified in the Common Humanitarian Action Plan.