Since mid-September, conflict has escalated between the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan and Balkh provinces. Parliamentary elections will be held on 20 October and violence will likely continue in the runup to the vote. An unknown number of people have been displaced in the affected provinces. More people will probably be displaced as fighting can be expected to continue in the coming weeks. Continued insecurity will also mean that people are unlikely to be able to return home quickly and will be in need of humanitarian assistance. Lack of security in Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan provinces will prevent IDPs and host communities from accessing basic services.
Anticipatory report - On 3 January 2018, Pakistan granted Afghan refugees in Pakistan a residence extension until the end of January. This is the shortest extension ever given to Afghan refugees in Pakistan and raises concerns of imminent large-scale forced returns. Some 1.39 million Afghan refugees are registered in Pakistan, as well as an estimated one million unregistered Afghans. If returns are enforced, it is likely to have a major impact on shelter, protection, and food needs. However, previous deadlines have been threatened but not enforced, reducing the probability of the risk.
In the Afghan province of Sar-i Pul recent clashes over territorial control between the Taliban and the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces have caused internal displacement. Over 7,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of December and are likely in need of protection, shelter, food, and health assistance. The newly displaced are in addition to an estimated 9,600 people displaced between January and November of this year.
Conflict between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in the northern provinces has intensified in the first week of June, especially in Kunduz province. Since the beginning of 2017 12,000 IDPs have been displaced from Kunduz province, the majority to other provinces across Afghanistan, of which over 7,000 were displaced in May. Since January the newly displaced from Kunduz province represent 10% of the total newly displaced population across Afghanistan. IDPs displaced in May made up 49% of Afghanistan’s total displacement.
Although the flow of returnees to Afghanistan has slowed since its peak in mid-2016, more than 60,000 people have returned from Iran (54,000) and Pakistan (almost 10,000) this year. They are in need of livelihoods and shelter as well as protection assistance.
Returnees from Pakistan go through Torkham border in Nangarhar province and Spin Boldak border in Kandarhar. Undocumented returnees make up around 40% of a total of 620,000 Afghans who returned from Pakistan in 2016. Returnees from Iran go through Islam Qala border in Herat province and Milak border in Nimroz province. More than 248,000 people returned from Pakistan in 2016, and more than 443,000 from Iran.
The increase is a result of worsening relations between the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments, prompting increasing pressure to return. The increase in returns from Iran is primarily due to the perceived pressure by the Iranian government that Afghan undocumented migrants put on the Iranian economy.
Continuous heavy rainfall since February has caused severe flooding in Khashrod and Chakhansur districts in Nimroz province. As of 23 February several homes had been destroyed or swept away by flood waters, and over 20,000 hectares of arable land had been submerged in flood water. An estimated 3,000 people have been affected and displaced by flooding in both Chakhansur and Khashrod districts. Affected populations are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Some of the affected were already vulnerable prior to the flooding. Many were either internally displaced or returnees from Iran.
Fighting has been ongoing in Kunduz city since 3 October, when the Taliban attacked. Government troops backed by Afghan special forces and US airstrikes are still conducting ‘clearing operations’ and have yet to recapture the city. At least three civilians had been killed and more than 290 wounded by 6 October. As of 10 October, approximately 33,000 people have reportedly fled Kunduz to neighbouring provinces. On 6 October, 10,000 IDPs have reportedly arrived in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif (Balkh province), Taloqan (Takhar province), and in Baghlan province. Protection, health and food needs are priorities.
Over 101,000 undocumented refugees are estimated to have returned from Pakistan in 2016, and the rate of returns increased significantly in July and the first two weeks of August. Most are returning to Nangarhar, where conflict is ongoing. The undocumented returnees' needs are considered to be high as their status means they are not eligible for assistance, and insecurity hampers access.
This report compares current humanitarian crises based on their level of humanitarian access. Affected populations in more than 40 countries are not getting proper humanitarian assistance due to access constraints. Out of 44 countries included in the report, nearly half of them are currently facing critical humanitarian access constraints, with four countries (Eritrea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen) being considered as inaccessible. Moderate humanitarian access constraints are an issue in eight countries, and 15 face low humanitarian access constraints.
Humanitarian Overview 2018 examines major humanitarian crises worldwide to identify likely developments and corresponding needs. The report focuses on countries where the crisis trend indicates a deterioration in 2018 and a corresponding increase in need. It also includes countries where crisis is not predicted to worsen, but is likely to remain severe: Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria. Across these countries, food security, displacement, health, and protection are expected
to be the most pressing humanitarian needs in 2018.
The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016.
Based on our weekly Global Emergency Overview (GEO), and four years of data on humanitarian needs across 150 countries, we have identified ten countries where humanitarian needs are likely to be highest in 2017, as well as four that merit attention, as they face a potential spike in needs. We also consider the humanitarian situation in the northern triangle region of Latin America, where the wide-ranging humanitarian impact of pervasive gang violence is chronically underreported.
The Crisis Overview 2015: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2016, outlines the countries considered to be in greatest humanitarian need as we approach the end of 2015.
Based on our weekly Global Emergency Overview (GEO), and three years of data on humanitarian needs across 150 countries, we have identified eleven countries where humanitarian needs are likely to be highest in 2016, as well as seven that merit attention, as they face a potential spike in needs. A final section considers the potential impact of the current El Niño event across a number of regions.