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Humanitarian Response Plan Afghanistan 2018 - 2021

Children wait outside a health clinic in rural Afghanistan Children wait outside a health clinic in rural Afghanistan © EU/ECHO/Peter Biro

This article is a brief presentation of the 2020 mid-year revision of ‘Humanitarian Response Plan Afghanistan’ by the Humanitarian Programme Cycle

The mid-year revision of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2018-2021 is a document consolidated by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) on behalf of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and partners. This report provides a shared understanding of the crisis, including the most pressing humanitarian needs and the estimated number of people who need assistance. It represents a consolidated evidence base and helps inform joint strategic response planning.

This 2020 mid-year revision of the HRP builds on efforts initiated by the Government, the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Multi-Sector Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) for long-term planning in response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.  It also seizes the opportunity to work closely with development actors in providing a response that promotes not just survival but also recovery and resilience.

According to the document, as COVID-19 pandemic impact existing humanitarian and development needs, the HRP has developed a response strategy highlighting specific needs and cross-cutting priorities for humanitarian activities in Afghanistan where almost 40 million people are affected by COVID-19, while economic lockdown has limited their access to employment and worsens pre-existing problems. This mid-year HRP update requests $1.1 billion to reach 11.1 million of the most vulnerable people acutely affected by the humanitarian consequences of the pandemic, conflict, natural disasters, and other vulnerabilities. The revised HRP 2020 focuses on coping strategy to COVID-19 and other cross-cutting issues with a new approach promoting collective thematic actions and supports inter-agency cooperation for durable solutions. Humanitarian and development actors have developed collaborative programming corresponding to the government’s plan as well as the United Nations Framework for the Immediate Socio-Economic Response to COVID-19 and been working with the World Bank to plan a comprehensive social safety net response to the crisis.

The revised HRP has three strategic objectives to address severe critical problems related to physical and mental well-being, living standards, protection of vulnerable population, recovery and building resilience. The first strategic objective is ‘lives are saved in the areas of highest need’. This objective is focused on the provision of urgent, emergency assistance to ensure people’s survival and prevent mortality, combining lifesaving responses to all kinds of shocks (conflict, disasters, and pandemic). The humanitarian actions of this objective include: (i) preventing the spread and responding to COVID-19; (ii) safeguarding civilian safety and preventing disability; (iii) addressing acute food insecurity and malnutrition which aim to reach 9.8 million people with food and livelihood assistance – including vulnerable people whose needs aggravated by the pandemic; (iv) expanding lifesaving services for physical and mental health care; (v) extending access to sanitation, clean water, and safe shelter; (vi) enhancing coordination between humanitarian and development actors to ensure joint-up planning approach will result in complementary programming with no one is left behind. The second strategic objective of revised HRP 2020 is ‘protection violations are reduced and respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is increased’. This objective is concerned to tackle critical problems related to physical and mental well-being and protection. The actions include: (i) managing escalated protection risks due to COVID-19 with enhancing the monitoring by incorporating additional COVID-19 indicators and providing psychosocial support; (ii) mitigating attacks on education and health through the Health Cluster by enhancing  monitoring of cases of IHL violation and strengthening advocacy for attacks prevention; (iii) reducing adoption of negative coping mechanisms by promoting the safety and dignity of the people; (iv) planning the inclusion of  community with a gender-sensitive response by providing legal, safety, health and psychosocial assistance for at-risk Internally Displaced People (IDPs), returnees and non-displaced Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors through a multi-sector approach; (v) improving accountability to affected people through a scale-up of resources to boost capacity and expansion of community engagement through two-way communication, such as Integrated Area-Based Response pilots and inter-agency feedback mechanism to monitor complaints and preferences of affected people with field assessments. The third strategic objective of revised HRP 2020 is ‘vulnerable people are supported to build their resilience’. This objective ensures the most vulnerable people have access to basic services and assistance to pull themselves out of crisis and help to recover and building resilience. The actions include: (i) strengthening fragile health systems amid war and COVID-19, including supporting people with disability; (ii) supporting people affected to meet livelihood needs and enhancing linkages with development actors; (iii) assisting education partners and supporting vulnerable children back to school through alternative methodologies and extended outreach; (iv) providing durable shelter solutions; (v) applying early actions to avoid severe malnutrition; (vi) promoting recovery and strengthening coping capacity by building resilience through the creation of income opportunities, investment in more durable infrastructure (Shelter, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), strengthening of service systems (Health and Nutrition), design of more disability and gender-inclusive programming and ensuring people to have access to development assistance.

The total funding required to be allocated for nine sectors is $1,131 billion with 14 million people in humanitarian need and 11.1 million target beneficiaries. The sectors of humanitarian response in Afghanistan consist of Education in Emergencies; Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI); Food Security and Agriculture; Health; Nutrition; Protection; WASH; Aviation; and Coordination. Besides, the revised HRP 2020 also integrates refugee response strategy plan into government programmes and services to ensure that approximately 72,465 refugees in Afghanistan have immediate access to shelter, nutrition, WASH, and health services. The revised HRP 2020 also commits to improve monitoring, collective accountability and feedback mechanisms by implementing new monitoring procedures and Accountability to Affected Population (AAP) strategy as well as by monitoring the need for thematic emergency preparedness plans at the national level in 2020.

 

To learn more, please read:

https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/sites/www.humanitarianresponse.info/files/documents/files/afg_hrp_2020_revision_june_2020.pdf

 

Author: Mery Ana Farida; Editor: Sara Gorelli

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