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Afghanistan: Facts and figures between April and June 2014

18-07-2014 Facts and Figures

A round-up of activities carried out by the ICRC in Afghanistan between April and June 2014.

Visiting detainees and the protection of the civilian population

The ICRC visits detainees in Afghanistan and other countries around the world to monitor the conditions in which they are held and the treatment they receive. ICRC delegates regularly visit prisons run by the Afghan authorities, by nations contributing to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and by US forces. The ICRC also helps family members separated by conflict to stay in touch with one another and endeavours to trace missing persons.

From April to June 2014, the ICRC:

  • carried out 29 visits in 22 places of detention holding 18,178 detainees;
  • followed up individually 212 people arrested in relation to the conflict, of whom 78 were visited for the first time and registered;
  • helped ten former detainees to travel home;
  • collected, with the support of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, over 1,200 Red Cross messages and distributed 899, mostly to detainees and their families;
  • facilitated 827 phone calls made by families to relatives held in detention Facilities in Parwan;
  • organized 630 family visits to detainees held in the Afghan National Detention Facility in Parwan, providing transport to and from the detention facility;
  • received 54 queries from families about arrested relatives and 13 tracing requests from abroad, of which 51 were resolved positively;
  • facilitated the transfer to next of kin of 188 remains of combatants and civilians killed during fighting.

Health care

The 444-bed Mirwais Regional Hospital in Kandahar is the main referral hospital for 6.8 million people living in the four southern provinces of Afghanistan. The ICRC supports the hospital through the provision of drugs, medical equipment and consumables, and provides diagnostic and critical services such as surgery, obstetrics and paediatrics, in line with the Ministry of Public Health’s 'Essential Package of Hospital Services' (EPHS).

The 150-bed Sheberghan Hospital in northern Afghanistan receives regular support from the ICRC through the provision of medical supplies (pharmaceutical and consumables), non-medical items (stationery, cleaning materials and printing of hospital forms), logistical supplies (fuel and oxygen) and medical equipment. The organization also assists with the maintenance and repair of equipment and conducts quarterly assessments of laboratory facilities.

Between April and May 2014 (figures for June are not yet available), the ICRC, including its health staff:

  • provided support to Mirwais and Sheberghan Hospitals, which admitted 10,698 patients to their surgical, medical and obstetrics and gynaecology wards. A total of 61,213 outpatients attended these clinics and more than 3,340 surgical operations were performed;
  • made 67 visits to places of detention to check on the health of detainees;
  • provided technical and financial support and medicines to 48 Afghan Red Crescent Society clinics and to community-based health and first-aid volunteers;
  • gave first-aid training to 640 arms carriers (including the armed opposition), medical personnel and taxi drivers engaged in bringing the wounded to health facilities from the front lines. More than 380 other people were trained by First Aid instructors previously trained by the ICRC
  • provided monthly medical and non-medical supplies to Korongal sub-health centre in eastern Afghanistan;
  • continued to support the Ministry of Public Health’s clinic for detainees in Sarposa prison in Kandahar; similar support for the provincial prison in Herat also began in April.

Limb-fitting and physical rehabilitation services

The ICRC runs seven prosthetic/orthotic centres around Afghanistan, providing rehabilitation services for amputees and other people with disabilities. The centres help disabled people regain their place in society by offering vocational training, micro-credit loans and home education for children. A home-care service offers medical, economic and social support to paraplegics who are bedridden.

Between April and June 2014, the ICRC’s Orthopaedic Centre personnel:

  • registered 2,532 new patients, of whom 351 were amputees;
  • assisted 29,092 patients in the seven ICRC orthopaedic centres;
  • made 4,185 prostheses and orthoses;
  • provided 62,845 physiotherapy treatments to patients;
  • granted micro-credit loans to 118 patients to help them start their own small business ventures;
  • facilitated the ongoing vocational training of 168 patients;
  • made 1,621 home visits through the Home Care programme, which assists 1,547 patients with spinal cord injuries and trains the families who care for them.

Food and other aid

Between April and June 2014, the ICRC, in partnership with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) provided emergency food and non-food items for over 36,000 people displaced by conflict or natural disaster, helping them to meet their most basic needs. Other ICRC activities included:

  • finalizing 15 cash-for-work projects to improve infrastructure such as irrigation channels, protection walls and water gates, in conjunction with the Afghan Red Crescent Society and local communities. Some 570 people from vulnerable families worked as labourers on these projects and received cash assistance for their work;
  • assistance to 87 para-veterinarians from local communities in the southern and central regions to de-worm and treat 460,000 livestock against different diseases in order to improve the animals’ health and productivity;
  • conducting livestock training for 510 pastoral farmers to increase their capacity to manage and protect their animals, and facilitating links to animal health services with the aim of helping farmers to increase their food production and income. The farmers were also provided with a kit containing concentrated animal feed and dairy equipment.

Water and habitat

ICRC engineers work closely with local water boards on both urban and rural water projects. Other activities include running hygiene awareness sessions in prisons. Construction work continued in Mirwais Regional Hospital in Kandahar and in the 150-bed Sheberghan Hospital.

From April to June 2014, the ICRC:

  • installed hand pumps and trained people to maintain them, benefiting over 84,000 people living in rural areas of Parwan, Bamyan, Ghazni, Kapisa, Khost, Panjsher, Nangharhar, Herat, Badghis, Farah, Kunduz, Balkh and Faryab provinces;
  • continued hygiene-promotion sessions and distributed materials to guards and detainees in places of detention countrywide, benefiting nearly 33,000 individuals;
  • improved water supplies and sanitary conditions for 5,000 detainees in seven places of detention.

Promoting compliance with international humanitarian law

Reminding warring parties of their obligation to protect civilians is a fundamental part of the ICRC's efforts to promote compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) among arms carriers worldwide. The ICRC also spreads knowledge of IHL among civil society groups, government authorities, academics and the media.

Between April and June 2014, the ICRC:

  • conducted briefings on its mandate and work for 5,837 people, including beneficiaries of ICRC assistance, community elders, religious scholars, political authorities, members of the national army, the national police, local police units, the National Directorate of Security, and the armed opposition.

Cooperation with the Afghan Red Crescent Society

The ICRC works closely with the Afghan Red Crescent Society and provides it with technical and financial assistance to help it deliver services to the community and implement a range of humanitarian programmes.

Between April and June 2014:

  • the 48 ICRC-supported ARCS clinics held outpatient consultations for more than 172,600 patients and administered over 89,700 doses of vaccine for routine childhood diseases and polio;
  • regional workshops were held in the northeast, east and west of Afghanistan to help over 70 ARCS staff strengthen their ability to gain access to the field, using a ‘Safer Access’ framework and methodology
  • a five-day management training course was conducted for 20 newly appointed ARCS headquarters and regional staff in the western region;
  • a round table meeting held in Geneva brought together diverse members of the ICRC, the International Federation, the Afghan Red Crescent Society and other interested Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies. The aim was to develop a broad and shared understanding of the evolving humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, the restricted humanitarian space, and the heightened insecurity which impacts on the ability of all of the Movement's components to provide services to the vulnerable;
  • a meeting with the Ministry of Justice was convened to discuss the draft of a law on the ARCS and the use of the Red Cross/Red Crescent emblems in Afghanistan, and the adoption of such a law into Afghan legislation.

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