Afghanistan - Activities: September 2001 - March 2002
30-05-2002 Operational Update
In Kabul, the 3rd round of distribution targetting 5,000 destitute families has started. Each family receives fuel, charcoal, blankets and plastic sheeting. In the meantime, similar assistance is being provided to schools, clinics and orphanages in the city. 10,000 families were assisted through previous distributions of this kind.
In Bamyan , a population census is underway for the possible next round of distributions, targetting returnees as well as those who did not receive assistance before. Meanwhile 100MT of wheat seeds were prepositioned in Bamyan for distribution starting from mid-March. The seeds will be distributed to 3,000 families , along with fertiliser. Between December and January, 12,950 families in Bamyan were provided with food and non-food items.
In Ghor , distribution of food and non-food items is underway for 75,000 families. During January and February, around 15,000 families were assisted. Distribution of seeds (wheat and chick peas) is planned for some 32,000 families in March.
In Mazar-i-Sharif and its neighbouring districts, approximately 18,500 families in Balkh, 14,500 families in Samangan, and 7,800 families in Sar-i-Pul have been assisted since December. Each household is supplied with a three-week ration of wheat, split peas and ghee.
In Balkh and Samangan provinces, over 14,000 families received wheat seeds during February.
Food and non-food assistance has been provided to some 15,000 IDP families in camps around Mazar-i-Sharif since November.
Between November 2001 and February 2002, the ICRC visited over 5,800 detainees in 46 places of detention under the responsibility of Afghan authorities or United States forces. Of these, some 4,500 were seen and registered for the first time. The total figure includes those prisoners transferred to the US military base at Guantanamo Bay , Cuba (currently 300).
Some 1,400 former detainees received assistance from the ICRC to return home by public transport. They include 136 who were among those released in early February by the Interim Government.
In collaboration with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, the ICRC collected 969 Red Cross Messages (RCMs) from civilians and 1,343 from detainees in January and February. In the same period, 764 RCMs were distributed to civilians and 533 to detainees.
Water and Habitat
Maintenance and rehabilitation work continued for 3 hospitals and 1 orphanage in Kabul during February. So far, rehabilitation work for 7 hospitals and 1 orphanage in the city has been completed.
18 pumps were repaired in February in Kabul, that brought the total number of pumps repaired to 118 out of some 120 so far targetted. Meanwhile, measurement of 202 water pumps in Kabul were conducted to assess the level of the water table in the city.
Urgent action was taken to improve water supplies at Shiberghan prison in the northern province of Jozjan, by trucking in thousands of litres of water each day. In time, each detention block will be connected to the pipe network, as well as the prison kitchen and the clinic. The prison at present accommodates over 3,000 prisoners .
In Herat , the assistance continued since January for the Municipal authority to maintain the distribution of water to the city's estimated 240,000 residents. Fuel is being delivered to operate the electrical generators powering water pumps for several supplying hours a day.
In Jalalabad, work for the Jalalabad Public Health Hospital continued during February. So far, the X-ray room and 2 pharmacy rooms have been rehabilitated.
The ICRC continued to provide regular assistance to 6 hospitals in Afghanistan (in Kandahar, Ghazni, Gulbahar, Jalalabad and 2 in Kabul). This assistance consists of medicine, medical instruments and non-medical items such as fuel for generators, soap, and small maintenance work as well as support for staff.
In January and February over 10 hospitals throughout the country were assisted with medicines and hygiene articles as needed.
In February, these ICRC-assisted health facilities served some 4,000 inpatients and 18,000 outpatients.
In Bamyan and Taloqan , the operating theatres and surgical wards of provincial hospitals were re-equipped and are now fully operational. Since late January, some 40 operations were performed in Bamyan Hospital.
The ICRC runs 6 Orthopaedic Centres in Afghanistan, serving mine victims and other disabled (polio, spinal injuries, cerebral palsy, congenital and acquired deformities).
Since 1988, over 48,000 patients (including some 26,000 amputees) have been registered and assisted. Approximately 80% of the amputees assisted are mine victims (70% of them are civilians).
During January and February 2002, 401 patients were newly registered and assisted.
Since 1999, a total of 1,472 patients have benefited from micro credit support to start up small business. In January and February, 20 patients have received a micro credit support.
While 57 patients aged 17-30 are assisted with vocational training, 493 school-aged patients are supported to continue their studies either at school or at home during 2001. Between January and February, 3 patients for vocational training and 24 for schooling have been newly enrolled.
Since 1996, 374 patients of the Kabul Orthopaedic Centre were supported to find employment with the ICRC and other organisations. This includes 29 patients who were newly employed in the past two months.
A total of 275 paraplegic patients in Kabul continued to receive regular visits by a Home Care Team. Medical treatment and advice are provided during the visits.
In collaboration with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, 198 mine awareness sessions were carried out in 174 different locations in the central Afghanistan during January and February. Some 8,700 adults and children in total attended the sessions.
In the same period, a total of 105 victims of mines and UXOs including 49 men and 47 boys were interviewed by the ICRC, and the information as to the circumstance of the accidents, etc. were collected and recorded in the database.
Of all victims interviewed, civilians comprise 80% and combatants 20%.
Co-operation with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS)
International Women's Day was celebrated together with the ARCS and the International Federation of Red Cross & Red C rescent Societies. The function was organised in Kabul for the first time for many years, and was attended by over 150 female and male ARCS staff from around the country, along with government officials and representatives of aid agencies.
In early February, a dissemination session on the Movement and its Fundamental Principles was organised (jointly with the ARCS Youth and Volunteers Department) for 40 female teachers from 20 girls'schools in Kabul that will re-open in March after several years'closure.