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AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (April 2021)

Key Issues:

During the April 2021reporting period, the HAG recorded 117 access impediments, a slight decrease compared to 148 incidents recorded during March.[1] Taliban continued to originate the most incidents (86) followed by community members (14) and ANSF, who affected seven incidents.  Movement Restrictions constituted (56 per cent) of the access impediments, followed by Military Operations and Kinetic Activity (18 per cent) and Violence/Threat Against Humanitarian Personnel/ Assets/ Facilities (14 per cent). The onset of Ramadan, accompanied with increased insecurity in Southern, Western and Central regions has resulted in both a significant reduction in Interference incidents in April (ten) compared to March (45), as well as reduced humanitarian operations during the reporting period. Interestingly, there was only one Taliban levy request incident recorded in April compared to seven in March, that may also be linked to reduced humanitarian programming due to insecurity and increased movement restrictions as outlined below.

Movement Restriction

In April, the HAG recorded (66) movement restrictions, with Taliban initiating (49) while Community Members and ANSF authored (12) and (02) incidents respectively. In (36) instances Taliban established illegal checkpoints in Western provinces to search for those affiliated with ANSF and GOA, while in Northern and North-eastern provinces Taliban established checkpoints to collect taxes from commercial trucks. Similarly, Taliban attacks against ANSF positions and movements over main highways resulted in temporary road closures, disrupting all road movements including humanitarian partners and assistance.

Twelve restriction of movement incidents were triggered by Community associated events where peaceful civilian protests occurred.

ANSF continued to disrupt movement of health organizations through its established checkpoints. In Maydan, Wardak province, an NGO ambulance was stopped cumulatively for around 90 minutes at two ANSF checkpoints while referring two adult patients to an NGO Hospital in Kabul with war-related injuries. The NDS and ANP checkpoints separately attempted to verify the identity of the male patient to allow passage. The ambulance was released from the second checkpoint after relatives arrived with adequate identity documents.

Military Operations and Kinetic Activity

During April the HAG recorded at least (21) incidents of Military Operations and Kinetic Activity impacting humanitarian programs. More than half of these incidents were occurred in Maidan Wardak and Kandahar Provinces, with (17) perpetrated by Taliban and three by ANSF. Active clashes in the Central and southern regions have significantly impacted humanitarian programs and discouraged humanitarian actors from continuing their operations. As a result of continued clashes in two districts in Maidan, Wardak Province at least (16) NGO-run educational classes were suspended and three health clinics temporarily closed. Similarly, operations in six health facilities in Arghandab, Kandahar were suspended after access routes were contaminated with IEDs by the Taliban, preventing access by staff and patients.

Violence/ Threat Against Humanitarian Personnel/ Assets/ Facilities

In April, the HAG registered (16) incidents of Violence/ Threats, compared to (29) in March. Taliban perpetrated the highest number (12), followed by ACG, NSAG-ISK, ANSF and Community members, each of whom instigated (one) incident.

The Taliban continued to use violence through intimidation, detention and abduction of humanitarian workers. Reasons given included alleged affiliation with the GOA, demands for NGO registration, lack of coordination with Taliban procedures and pressure to accept their authority in areas of control. During the reporting period, two humanitarian workers were killed, six abducted and three detained. Separately, two humanitarian workers were injured in an incident involving Community Members at a health facility.

Threats against female workers continued to be a major concern in Eastern regions of the country. In April, local authorities in Asadabad District, Kunar informed NGO partners that the Taliban had issued an order to target female health, NGO, and government employees.

Intimidation of health workers by parties to the conflict continued during the reporting period. In Eastern Region, the Taliban once again forced health personnel of an NGO to visit their area to treat wounded fighters. After initially denying the request to travel to areas of Taliban control, the NGO was issued a warning which obliged individual health workers to visit the area.

[1] In addition to the 98 incidents reported in the March snapshot, the HAG received late reports of an additional 50 incidents in March.


Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
12 May 2021
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Snapshot
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination