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AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (March 2021)

During the reporting period covering March 2021, the HAG recorded 98 access impediments, compared to 157 incidents recorded during February.[1] Interference in the Implementation of humanitarian activities constituted 32 per cent of the access impediments, followed by violence/ threat against humanitarian staff and assets (24 per cent) and movement restrictions (20 per cent).
Interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities
During March, the HAG recorded at least 31 incidents involving interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities. Taliban continued to author most incidents (25), followed by GOA (3), with community and ANSF authoring two and 1 incident respectively. 14 instances resulted in the temporary halt of humanitarian programs. Registration demands by Taliban continued to be an issue: In six instances humanitarian programs were temporarily halted because the NGOs refused to register with the Taliban. Meanwhile, Taliban interference in recruitment of staff as well as beneficiary and project location selection continued. The HAG received reports of at least five health NGOs who had their monitoring activities stopped in Taliban-controlled areas when the NGOs did not concede to Taliban demands.  The monitoring of activities is not only a donor requirement but also an important means to ensure that humanitarian services are not misused by parties to the conflict.
Violence/ Threat Against Humanitarian Personnel/ Assets/ Facilities
In March, the HAG logged 24 incidents of violence/ threats, compared to42 in February. Taliban authored the highest number (12), followed by ACG (6), ISK (2), ANSF (2) and community (1).
Taliban continued to use violence mostly by detaining and abducting humanitarian workers as well as issuing threats. Alleged affiliation with GOA, lack of coordination with Taliban and refusal to accept Taliban demands were the main reasons for detentions and abductions. An NGO in the northeastern region suspended their staff movement after a Taliban NGO focal point at district level issued threats against one of their staff members for alleged association and involvement with ANSF.
ACGs authored a series of robberies of humanitarian personnel in Kabul, Hirat and Jalalabad cities, that resulted in injuries to two humanitarian staff. In Nangarhar, the issuance of an ISK-claimed pamphlet in mid-March, which specifically threatens women working for the government, radios, charity organizations as well as vaccinators raised concerns among female humanitarian staff. Especially after unknown individuals killed three female government vaccinators in Jalalabad City on 31 March, which led to the temporary suspension of the polio immunization program.
Movement Restriction
In March, the HAG recorded 20 movement restrictions, with Taliban initiating 16 restrictions while ANSF and community authored three and one incident respectively. In at least 14 instances, movement was disrupted because Taliban established checkpoints on the main highways with the aim to search for GOA/ANSF personnel or coordinated attack against ANSF positions and movement. Pro Government Militia (PGM) also established checkpoints directly impacting humanitarian staff and delivery of aid items. In one instance, an NGO staff was physically assaulted by PGM members while at another checkpoint in Takhar, a truck carrying winterization supplies of an NGO was not allowed because the area where the supply was aimed to was under Taliban control.   
Levy Requests
In March, the HAG logged five levy requests, with three of them recorded in the western region. At least three instances resulted in the temporary halt of the humanitarian programs. Interestingly, in two different cases Taliban suggested the taxation of beneficiaries’ post cash or in-kind distributions as an alternative for the 10 per cent of the project budget. In Farah Province, an NGO received a phone call from a Taliban focal point, informing that all NGOs working in Farah should coordinate their activities, including submission of their project proposals to calculate a10 per cent levy. In case levy payments were not possible, they suggested in-kind contributions. The HAG continues to record many cases where levy requests follow the submission of project details.

[1] In addition to the 147 incidents reported in the February snapshot, the HAG received late reports of an additional 10 incidents in February.



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