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Afghanistan and region: ICRC appeals for Sfr 47 million towards outstanding needs

05-10-2001 Operational Update

   

   
 
 

    

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  

  • The ICRC's operational priority is to protect and provide emergency assistance to IDPs and resident populations remaining in Afghanistan. Its Afghan staff, in contact with expatriate staff evacuated from Afghanistan and now based in Pakistan, remains in place and continues to distribute food and medical assistance and maintain orthopaedic services. Efforts continue to obtain permission and the necessary security guarantees needed for expatriate staff to return to Afghanistan.

  • Budgets for these ongoing programmes remain to be covered by funds received in response to a previous appeal for Sfr 60 million (cf. Emergency Appeal 2001, revised in 6 June 2001).

  • To be prepared to respond to a possible upsurge in fighting or massive disp lacement within Afghanistan, the ICRC is developing its capacity to provide emergency assistance for displaced or resident populations whose lives are disrupted by conflict and drought. It plans to target up to 540,000 persons for distributions of food, shelter, medical assistance, and other items essential for survival, not least in view of the approaching winter.

  • In order to pre-position stocks and to adapt the logistical set-up to deliver this assistance, the ICRC is issuing an appeal for an additional Sfr 25 million (USD 15,5 million / EURO 17 million) which will be formally finalized and presented in the near future.

  • Including this additional appeal, overall outstanding needs for the ICRC's Aghan Conflict appeal amount to Sfr 47 million (USD 29 million / EURO 32 million).

 
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 1. INTRODUCTION  

In the present update:

  •  Section 2 provides information on activities ongoing in Afghanistan ;

  •  Section 3 describes developments in the logistical preparations relating to the Plan of Action as presented in the previous update;

  •  Section 4 provides an overview of the current financial situation and outstanding needs , including this additional appeal.

    

 
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 2. ONGOING ACTIVITIES IN AFGHANISTAN  

    

Some 1,000 Afghan employees have remained in place since the ICRC was obliged to evacuate its expatriates from Afghanistan on 16 September. Through contact with the 15 expatriates of the ICRC Afghan operation and based in Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Mashhad, Ashkabad, and Dushanbe, they are planning how best to reach those Afghans most in need, and when possible continue to distribute ICRC assistance goods which are in stock in Kabul and in the seven sub-delegations around the country (cf. map).

   

    

 2.1 Kabul: medicine shipment arrives  

On Saturday, 29 September, a truckload of medical supplies sent from ICRC Peshawar reached Kabul. The shipment refurbished supplies there, allowing Afghan staff to continue its medical assistance to area hospitals, clinics and first aid posts providing first aid or surgical services. The truck delivered enough dressing material, medicine, and other surgical supplies to treat up to 500 war-wounded patients. It received authorization to cross the border from both Pakistani and Taliban authorities. Similar transports are planned for the coming days and weeks.

ICRC staff also maintains other activities in Kabul: water and sanitation teams continue to repair wells throughout the city, and assistance staff has kept up food deliveries for orphanages housing over 2,500 children and in cooperation with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) has distributed food rations to 3,000 of the most vulnerable people.

   

    

 2.2 Mazar-i-Sharif: food distributions resume  

The ICRC resumed its food distributions in Mazar-i-Sharif, where it provided rations for 5,000 families (30,000 persons) displaced by conflict and drought. Distributions of wheat, split peas and ghee have been provided to cover half of the food needed for a period of three months.

ICRC staff also maintains other activities in Mazar-i-Sharif: water and sanitation teams continue to build latrines and repair wells.

   

    

 2.3 Herat: WFP to use ICRC stocks  

The ICRC has put food stocks in Herat (1,000 tonnes of rice and 500 tonnes of split peas) at the disposal of the WFP, for its programmes serving some 200,000 displaced persons congregated in camps already covered by WFP in the Herat area before the current crisis.

   

    

 2.4 Countrywide: operations sustained  

   

    

 2.4.1 Orthopaedic and medical activities  

Four orthopaedic centres in Taliban-controlled areas and two in Northern Alliance territory continue to fit prostheses and provide physical therapy for amputees and other disabled persons. The maintenance of these services will likely take on even greater importance in the event of displacements forcing large numbers of persons to cross unfamiliar areas which are mined. As in Kabul, ICRC staff in other subdelegations continued the distribution of medical stocks to hospitals and first-aid posts.

   

    

 2.4.2 Assistance programmes  

In Kabul, Herat, Jalalabad, and Kandahar, the ICRC continues to cooperate with the ARCS to run Food-for-Work program mes cleaning irrigation systems.

   

    

 2.4.3 Communication  

 In the fold of humanity , a radio programme produced by the ICRC to promote humanitarian values, heighten awareness of mine/uxo risks, and provide updates on ICRC activities, continues to be broadcast weekly by the Taleban-controlled Radio Shari'at.

   

    

 2.5 Gulbahar and Faizabad: uninterrupted operations  

In areas controlled by the Northern Alliance, security conditions have remained stable.   Rehabilitation of basic infrastructures such as sewage systems and hand pumps continues uninterrupted, as do orthopaedic activities in centres at Gulbahar and Faizabad, and medical deliveries to area hospitals. In Badakhshan 4,000 people are working in Food-for-Work programmes, rehabilitating irrigations systems which will increase the arable land available and thus benefit some 30,000 persons. The ICRC also visited some 400 prisoners in the Panjshir valley, providing them with winter assistance.

 
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 3. CONTINGENCY PLANNING AND PREPOSITIONING  

In order to provide quick access to as many regions as possible, and to maintain alternatives should established supply routes be blocked, the ICRC is developing plans for a number of pipelines into Afghanistan. Reinforcing supply lines established through Peshawar and Dushanbe/Khorog, it is now setting up new routes through Quetta (Baluchistan), Pakistan, and Iran and is exploring other possibilities through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Possibilities for establishing additional storage facilities and supply lines are being explored in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

   

    

 3.1 Plan of action  

The ICRC plan of action has remained basically unchanged since the previous update (cf. OP/REX/OPS 01/48, Update No. 20/2001, Afghanistan No.3). Projected requirements are based on the estimated needs of a population of 540,000 people disrupted by drought or war. As a first step, the ICRC aims to mobilize one third of the food and non-food requirements for the number of beneficiaries targeted. First airlifts, particularly of medical assistance, have been organized.

   

    

 3.1.1 Relief Assistance  

The quantiti es mentioned in the following tables are total stock requirements needed in Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan, and are intended to cover a period of assistance of three months.

 a) Pakistan  

    

Whether or not there is a major military operation in the coming weeks, as long as most of the major southern border crossings are closed, both fuel and food will be in short supply. Prices will likely increase, setting off more population movements, particularly from urban centres to areas near the border or into Pakistan; there is, traditionally, a winter movement into Pakistan and border closures may prevent many of the people from crossing.

In addition to its pipeline set up in Peshawar, the ICRC is developing another route through Quetta (Baluchistan).

 a. Three month half ration of food for 20,000 families ex-Peshawar/Islamabad.  

    

Wheat/Rice

2,000

Mt

(100 Kg x 20,000)

Split Peas

600

Mt

(30 Kg x 20,000)

Ghee

540

Mt

(27 Kg x 20,000)

Blankets

50,000

units

 

Tarpaulins

10,000

units

 

Collapsible jerrycans

10,000

units

 

Pressure cookers

10,000

units

 

Tents

5,000

units

 

 b. Three month half ration of food for 10,000 families ex-Quetta.  

Wheat/Rice

1,000

Mt

(100 Kg x 10,000)

Split Peas

300

Mt

(30 Kg x 10,000)

Ghee

270

Mt

(27 Kg x 10,000)

Blankets

50,000

units

 

Tarpaulins

10,000

units

 

Collapsible jerrycans

10,000

units

 

Pressure cookers

10,000

units

 

 b) Iran / Turkmenistan  

In Iran, the ICRC met with the Ministries of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs and received the green light to set up a logistic base in Mashhad, near the Afghan border. In close cooperation with the Iranian Red Crescent, it is drawing up plans to transfer relief goods through Iran for distribution inside Afghanistan, should conflict and drought further disrupt populations in Herat and Ghor. It has obtained landing rights and agreements to cross borders, and has been granted the right to use an Iranian Red Crescent warehouse in Mashhad.

    

Pre-positioning of stocks in Iran, and possibly in Turkmenistan, is calculated to cover three contingencies:

    

1. depletion of food stocks at Herat, where IDPs in camps are dependent on humanitarian assistance. If distribution continues, UN stocks in Herat will be depleted in two weeks, and ICRC stocks in Herat would only cover needs for one more week. After that a major population movement is likely;

2. an increase in hostilities, with a breakdown of security and disruption of trade forcing populations in the central and northern regions, already severely affected by the drought, to move west and increase IDP numbers there;

3. further deterioration of the situation of populations dependent on assistance which has broken down since 11 September In Iran, the ICRC met with the Ministries of the Interior and of Foreign Affair s and received the green light to set up a logistic base in Mashhad, near the Afghan border. In close cooperation with the Iranian Red Crescent, it is drawing up plans to transfer relief goods through Iran for distribution inside Afghanistan, should conflict and drought further disrupt populations in Herat and Ghor. It has obtained landing rights and agreements to cross borders, and has been granted the right to use an Iranian Red Crescent warehouse in Mashhad.

In Iran the ICRC plans to set up a logistics base in Mashhad, aiming to make direct deliveries to Herat and Ghor province. This setup will require:

Staff

: 3 expatriates (3 months)

: 7 expatriates (1 month)

: 15 locally hired

Trucks

: 10

Warehouse

: to finalize construction at building site Iranian Red Crescent Society

Medical material

: Import field hospital; Norwegian Red Cross Society

 Three month full ration of food for 40,000 families ex-Iran/Turkmenistan  

Wheat / Rice

8,000

Mt

(200 Kg x 40,000)

Split Peas

2,400

Mt

(60 Kg x 40,000)

Ghee

2,160

Mt

(54 Kg x 40,000)

Blankets

50,000

units

 

Tarpaulins

10,000

units

 

Pressure cookers

10,000

units

 

Collapsible jerry cans

10,000

units

 

    

 c. Tajikistan  

    

Relief goods are prepositioned in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The possibilities of bringing relief supplies into and through northern Afghanistan via Khorog, Tajikistan, are similar to those of other regions, except that it is a region that is remote and vulnerable to being cut off in winter. Part of the north may also be supplied through Turkmenistan.

Over the past nine months there has been a considerable increase in the number of displaced (conflict/drought) in the north of the country. They are dispersed over a wide area from Pul-i-Kumri to Maimana, even at normal times difficult to access. A drop in humanitarian assistance and a reduced capacity of the local population to assist the displaced will possibly create further problems and needs. In addition, should the Taliban infrastructure be weakened, there is the possibility of an upsurge in hostilities in the region with local commanders attacking areas which they earlier controlled, or launching reprisals against the Pashtu population in reaction to events of the past few years.

 Three month half ration of food for 20,000 families ex-Tajikistan  

Wheat/Rice

2,000

Mt

(100 Kg x 20,000)

Split Peas

600

Mt

(30 Kg x 20,000)

Ghee

540

Mt

(27 Kg x 20,000)

Blankets

50,000

units

 

Tarpaulins

10,000

units

 

Collapsible jerrycans

10,000

units

 

Pressure cookers

10,000

units

 

Tents

500

units

 

   

    

 3.1.2 Medical Assistance  

The ICRC regularly provides medicines and surgical supplies to 16 hospitals and 14 first-aid posts located in all areas of Afghanistan. In 2001, these hospitals have on average treated 21,472 cases (62% male, 22% female, 16% children), and performed 3,472 operations (of which 23% are for weapon-related injuries) monthly.

The ICRC plans to pre-position medical (for IDPs) and surgical (for the war-wounded) supplies in several logistics staging areas in order to maintain as much flexibility as possible to deliver assistance when access is granted.

Stocks for treatment of the war-wounded are not based on the numbers of casualties expected, but on the limits imposed by the number of surgeons and hospital facilities available to perform surgery. These stocks will include:

 a) Peshawar/Quetta  

ICRC Hospital Kits

1,000

 

war-wounded

ICRC First-aid Kits

2,500

 

war-wounded

WHO New Emergency Health Kits

20,000

 

patients for 3 months

Emergency surgical field hospital unit

100

 

beds

 
 b) Dushanbe  

ICRC Hospital Kits

1,000

 

war-wounded

WHO New Emergency Health Kits

40,000

 

patients for 3 months

 c) Mashhad  

ICRC Hospital Kits

2,000

 

war-wounded

WHO New Emergency Health Kits

60,000

 

patients for 3 months

Emergency surgical field hospital unit

100

 

beds

In all:

 Location  

 ICRC Hospital Kits for n° war wounded  

 ICRC First Aid Kits for n° war wounded  

 WHO New Emergency Health Kits 10,000 / 3 months  

 Emergency surgical field hospital unit / 100 beds  

Peshawar/Quetta

1,000

2,500

2

1

Dushanbe

1,000

 

4

 

Mashhad

2,000

 

6

1

 Total Beneficiaries  

 4,000  

 2,500  

 120,000  

 

   

    

 3.1.3 Water and Sanitation Assistance  

A clean water supply and adequate sanitation facilities are key to supporting survival and preventing epidemics in large-scale emergencies.

The ICRC plans to pre-position equipment needed to set up a safe water supply in Afghanistan for up to 200,000 beneficiaries: 100,000 persons in the North via Tajikistan; 50,000 in West/Central regions via Iran; and 50,000 in the East via Peshawar. This will include materials and supplies needed to pump, store and treat 15 litres of water/person/day for 20 days.

    

For further information, please contact the External Resources Division.