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AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (June 2021)

Key Access Constraints Reported in June 2021

During the reporting period covering June 2021, the HAG recorded 259 access impediments, compared to 168 incidents recorded during May.[i] The Taliban continued to author most incidents (211), followed by community members, ACG and ANSF-perpetrated incidents. Movement restrictions accounted for 47 per cent of all access constraints, with 121 incidents recorded compared to 61 in May. Military Operations and Kinetic Activity accounted for 31 per cent, while Violence/Threats Against Humanitarian Personnel/Assets/Facilities accounted for nine per cent of all access constraints. In May and June, the HAG observed a significant reduction in levy requests interferences in the implementation of humanitarian activities and Violence/Threats Against Humanitarian Personnel/Assets/Facilities, which could be linked to a reduced humanitarian footprint in the field due to ongoing fighting and the Covid-19 pandemic. June 2021 was one of the deadliest months for the humanitarian community, with 12 humanitarians killed, 28 injured and one detained.

 

Movement Restriction

 

In June, the HAG recorded 121 movement restrictions, with Taliban initiating 104 restrictions, while community members and ANSF authored 13 and four incidents respectively.

The Taliban after gaining control over new districts, temporarily closed main routes emplacing IEDs and establishing checkpoints. The checkpoints served the group to search for ANSF, government personnel and their affiliates, while the planting of IEDs allowed the Taliban to thwart ANSF advancement. These tactics significantly reduced access and movement of humanitarian partners, even more for those with no/limited engagement with the Taliban.

The volatile security environment forced many humanitarian partners to relocate staff and their families from disputed areas. For small NGOs with limited resources, this often meant risky movement by road. This highlights the importance of continued advocacy with conflict parties to guarantee the safety and security of humanitarians. In Badghis Province, humanitarian partners limited movement after reports of ANSF forcing civilians to physically support the establishment of two new security bases.

 

Military Operations and Kinetic Activity

 

During June, the HAG recorded at least 81 access incidents resulting from Military Operations and Kinetic Activity, compared to 54 in May. All 81 incidents were initiated by the Taliban, highlighting the defensive position of ANSF during the last month. These incidents resulted in collateral damage to ten health clinics, two schools one NGO compound and one vehicle sustained collateral damage due to kinetic activity being conducted in close proximity to humanitarian facilities. On 23 June 2021, in Kunar, Taliban fired two mortar rounds towards the city, with one round impacting the Asadabad public hospital, extensively damaging the building while the second round impacted in a residential area.

 

Violence/ Threat Against Humanitarian Personnel/ Assets/ Facilities

 

In June, the HAG logged 23 incidents of violence/threats, compared to 20 in May, with ACGs perpetrating nine incidents, the Taliban authoring five, followed by ANSF (three), community (two) and GOA and ISK authoring one incident respectively. Despite a reduction in incidents, the month of June 2021 was the deadliest month on HAG record, with 12 humanitarians losing their live and 28 being injured.   On 8 June 2021, in Baghlan-e-Jadid district of Baghlan, a group of armed individuals gained access to a project site of an NGO involved in humanitarian mine clearing and opened fire towards NGO staff members, killing 10 NGO staff members and wounding another 16. One of the wounded later died from the wounds sustained during the attack, raising the casualty figures to 11 killed and 15 wounded. ISK later claimed responsibility for the attack. In Hilmand, a group of armed Taliban members entered a health facility with health staff and patients present to utilize the health facility as their hideout against ANSF airstrikes. OCHA engaged with both parties to the conflict for deconfliction, with the Taliban later vacating the facility. The incident highlighted the urgent need for a fit-for-purpose humanitarian notification system and continued advocacy with parties to the conflict to remind them that humanitarian sites are protected under IHL and must not be used for military objectives.

 

[i] In addition to the 161 incidents reported in the May snapshot, the HAG received late reports of an additional seven incidents in June.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Cluster(s)/Sector(s): 
Original Publication Date: 
14 Июл 2021
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Snapshot
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination