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AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (JUL 2020)

In July 2020, the HAG recorded 82 incidents impacting access for humanitarians, compared to 54 incidents in June . After low numbers of interference attempts and violence against humanitarians were recorded in June , those incidents increased again in July and are back on the level of previous months.

Access Impediments Related to C-19 outbreak and its response
While government imposed C-19 lockdown measures remain officially in place, they are no longer enforced and do no longer result in any restrictions of humanitarian movement. Nonetheless, many organizations continue to limit their field missions and assessments due to fear of their staff getting infected. In addition to self-imposed restrictions, both government officials as well as NSAG-TB members continue to hamper C-19 response activities. Partner organizations working in Farah and Badghis provinces reported how their C-19 prevalence survey as well as C-19 awareness campaigns were delayed by lengthy access negotiations with NSAG-TB. In Khost Province, government officials requested a memorandum of understanding from the Ministry of Public Health before allowing a partner to set up C-19 screening facilities, despite the NGO law foreseeing that emergency projects can start immediately. Similar issues have already delayed C-19 response activities in the western region in previous months.

Military Operations and Kinetic Activity
July logged eight access impediments stemming from military operations and kinetic activity, with NSAG-TB authoring five incidents, including three incidents involving IEDs. In Shawalikot District, a truck rigged as an SVBIED detonated near the ANP HQ, causing structural damage to the ANP building but also collaterally impacting a NGO-supported health facility nearby. In the eastern region, an MIED attached to the private vehicle of an NGO employee detonated, injuring two NGO employees. The motive behind this incident remained unclear. July recorded another airstrike collaterally impacting an NGO facility: on 17 July AAF targeted an NSAG-TB position west of Pul-e Khumri City, with the projectile impacting in an open area near an NGO project site, causing damage to the facility. This is the eighth airstrike this year that impacted humanitarian facilities, compared to nine such incidents recorded throughout 2019. This highlights the continued need to engage AAF on IHL and the protection of humanitarian facilities.

Interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities
In July, the HAG recorded 30 interference attempts in the implementation of humanitarian activities – the highest monthly average this year. While NSAG-TB continued to author most incidents (16), nine interference attempts were authored by government officials, with community members and criminals behind three and two incidents respectively.
NSAG-TB mainly interfered in programming, with some issues coming up recurrently: The HAG recorded another two incidents of humanitarian cargo being stopped and temporarily withheld at NSAG-TB checkpoints along the Kabul-Kandahar highway. In both instances, NSAG-TB thoroughly checked the cargo papers and in the case where the driver was contracted, NSAG-TB reached out to the contracting humanitarian organization who had to negotiate for the release of their cargo. Humanitarian organizations relying on contractors for the transport of humanitarian cargo should ensure that these contractors have indeed access in the respective area and will not have the cargo withheld at NSAG-TB checkpoints. Another recurrent issue is NSAG-TB members impeding and/or stopping health services if they consider that the quality of the provided service is not satisfying. Under this logic, NSAG-TB prevented a health partner in the northern region from monitoring and supervising their facilities, also impeding the drug supply to the facilities. Another example highlights the connection of senior NSAG-TB members across provinces and how potential competition between them can impede humanitarian operations. After lengthy and cumbersome access negotiations with NSAG-TB in Paktika Province, a health partner decided to relocate project activities to Kunar Province. However, shortly after starting their operations, they were contacted by the NSAG-TB Provincial Health Commissioner of Kunar requesting for them stop operations, citing the unsuccessful negotiations in Paktika as the reason. On the government side, a recent change in the renewal process for work permits is of concern for the broader NGO community: The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs ties the purchase of a local insurance from a specific clinic to the renewal of work permits for both national and international staff. Additionally, partners also recorded of several incidents where government officials interfered with their recruitment process or beneficiary selection, including in the western region where a district governor opposed a food distribution in an NSAG-TB controlled village.

Operacione(s) / Espacio(s) web: 
Oficina de Coordinación de Asuntos Humanitarios de las Naciones Unidas
Cluster(s) / Sector(es): 
Fecha de publicación original: 
16 Ago 2020
Tipo de mapa / infografía: 
Panorama humanitario
Centros de coordinación: 
National Level Coordination