Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 27 October 2020
Heavy fighting that started on 11 October between the Afghan National Security Forces and a non-State armed group continues near Lashkargah city in Hilmand province, south of Afghanistan.
Local authorities have initially estimated that 35,000 people have been displaced. The UN and humanitarian partners are still verifying these numbers, with nearly 9,700 displaced people confirmed to date, and with needs assessments ongoing. Interruptions to mobile phone networks are hindering information flow and the progress of humanitarian assessments.
The violence has stretched hospitals in Lashkargah to capacity. Attacks on health facilities during the fighting are particularly worrying, with the World Health Organization reporting that 15 health facilities have been targeted, affecting thousands of people.
According to reports received on 25 October, five health facilities that had been closed in several districts reopened with limited capacity, restoring health access for approximately 61,000 people.
The UN and OCHA are closely coordinating with the Government and partners to provide assistance to displaced people.
Local authorities, through the support of UNICEF, continue to supply water in displacement locations, and food aid is also being provided.
Overall, some 6 million people have been reached with humanitarian assistance under the 2020 Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan in 390 of 401 districts countrywide since the beginning of the year. However, winter is fast approaching, with people soon to face freezing conditions, and depleted coping capacity due to COVID-19, decades of war, displacement and annual natural disasters.
The Plan requires US$1.1 billion to help more than 11 million people. To date, the Plan is only 40 per cent funded.