Secretary-General's latest report
The UN Secretary-General's quarterly report to the Security Council released on 9 September 2014 provides an update of UNAMA's activities since 18 June 2014, listed below. For a full copy of the latest report, click here.
V. Humanitarian assistance
43. On 15 July, the Ministry of Public Health released the findings of the 2013 national nutrition survey, which had been conducted with technical support from the United Nations. While progress and improvements have been recorded since the previous survey, the findings in respect of stunting (40.9 per cent) and severe wasting (4 per cent) in children under 5 years of age exceed key United Nations emergency thresholds. The findings indicated that low coverage of key nutrition interventions and poor awareness about infant and young child feeding practices were contributing to the dual problems of acute and chronic undernutrition. In Afghanistan, 12.6 per cent of all annual child deaths, which total 189,000, are associated with acute malnutrition. The common humanitarian fund has prioritized allocation for addressing severe acute malnutrition to support the response by the United Nations and non-governmental organization partners in eight provinces where severe acute malnutrition emergency thresholds have been breached.
44. Between 31 May and 15 August, Afghanistan recorded two polio cases, for a total of eight since 1 January, with six cases reported from the east of the country and with one case each from the south and west. During the period of April to July, national immunization campaigns were conducted, targeting 8.9 million children under 5 years of age, as were subnational immunization campaigns targeting 3.5 million of those children in high-risk areas. On 10 July, a cross-border coordination meeting was held between technical experts from Kandahar Province in the south and neighbouring Balochistan Province in Pakistan to synchronize the vaccination activities.
45. Following the commencement of the military operation of Pakistan in North Waziristan Agency on 15 June, as at 15 August an estimated 13,000 families had crossed into Khost and Paktika provinces in eastern Afghanistan. An estimated 80 per cent of that population has taken refuge with host communities across 14 districts along the border. A response plan is being implemented by local authorities with the support of international partners in both Khost and Paktika for a period of up to six months to support priority ongoing interventions to meet the most urgent and acute humanitarian needs.
46. As at 31 July, the internally displaced persons task force, co-chaired by the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation and the United Nations, recorded 60,307 persons displaced in Afghanistan owing to conflict in 2014, bringing the cumulative total of the internally displaced to 701,909 persons. Ongoing military clashes in several northern Hilmand districts from 20 June resulted in significant civilian casualties and internal displacement. Owing to the high levels of insecurity, the ability of humanitarian actors to directly access the displaced populations of concern in those districts has been highly restricted, with road movements strictly curtailed. Ongoing hostilities in the Qaysar district of Faryab Province in the north of the country have also resulted in the reported displacement of up to 674 families.
47. During the first seven months of 2014, a total of 10,055 Afghan refugees (averaging 47 individuals per day) voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan: 7,168 individuals returned from Pakistan, 2,741 from the Islamic Republic of Iran and 146 from other countries. Since January and until the time of reporting, the rate of return showed a sharp decrease of 65 per cent compared with the same period in 2013. The decrease in the return figure so far in 2014 is partly attributable to uncertainty regarding the Afghan elections and concerns about security during the transitional period.
48. Following the initial identification in the shelter recovery plan of 8,164 shelters that had been destroyed by flooding in April and May across northern Afghanistan, funding allocations, including from the emergency response fund, for up to 941 shelters have been confirmed to date.
49. In the mine action sector, during the reporting period four battlefields and 72 minefields were cleared in 32 communities, with an additional five districts declared mine-free. The United Nations continued to work with ISAF to help ensure that the bases and firing ranges being closed or transferred were cleared of unexploded ordnance; 95.4 km2 have been cleared and more than 34,000 explosive items and almost 12,900 items of small arms ammunition have been removed or destroyed.
50. Humanitarian access constraints continued to be recorded under the United Nations global monitoring framework. Attacks against personnel, assets and facilities and the violation of health facilities remain key areas of concern. As at 15 August, 117 incidents of violence against personnel, assets and facilities were recorded in 2014, resulting in 37 deaths and 35 injuries among aid workers, with 114 abductions and attempted abductions and the arrest and detention of five personnel. Between 1 January and 15 August, 41 incidents affected non-governmental and Government-managed health facilities and assets, the majority in the eastern and central provinces.
51. Overall humanitarian funding for Afghanistan, as at 15 August, reached $345 million, of which $206 million is aligned with the United Nations strategic response plan for Afghanistan (51 per cent funded). Of the remaining balance, $56 million has been reported for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, almost $30 million has been committed for humanitarian action but not allocated, and the remainder is reported as not aligned. Of the funds aligned with the plan, two thirds have been allocated to United Nations agencies and one third to non-governmental organizations. The top humanitarian donors to Afghanistan to date are the United States, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Denmark and Sweden. A mid-year review of the $406 million plan by the humanitarian country team in July reprioritized the proposed allocations, given the additional needs
arising from the national nutrition survey, the influx of refugees coming from Pakistan and the post-flood shelter response.