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Afghanistan - Facts and Figures - May 2002

31-05-2002 Operational Update

 Emergency Relief  


  • Since November 2001 the focus of the ICRC relief programme was to cover the urgent humanitarian needs for food and non food items. Between November 2001 and February 2002 close to 11'000 MT of food was distributed to over 750,000 beneficiaries . Having adressed the most urgent needs the focus shifted in March towards agricultural rehabilitation (seeds and fertilizer) and in March-April the ICRC distributed more than 2'500 MT of seeds to more than 1million beneficiaries.

  • Post distribution monitoring, assessment of new areas and re registration of beneficiaries to update and confirm numbers were carried out during March and April to prepare for the new round of distribution which will begin mid May.

  • The main operation area for the ICRC relief operation is the northern/central provinces of Samangan, Dar i Suf, Balkh, Bamyan and Ghor. It is a mountainous and semi arid region, affected by drought and conflict. The innaccessibility of the area means only few organisations have the logistical and operational capacity to implement a large scale action and the ICRC has decided that its capacity was best put to use there.

  • The ICRC will carry out 2 rounds of food distribution until the end of 2002, one in Spring one in Autumn. 350,000 persons will be covered in Balkh, Samangan , Sar i Pul and Faryab provinces, over 120,000 in Bamyan province, up to 540,000 in Ghor province.

  • In the agricultural field, a second distribution of seeds for 97,000 families is planned, irrigation rehabilitation will be implemented through 120 Food for Work projects , and 350,000 heads of livestock will be treated against parasites. 15,000 farmers will be trained to improved cultivation methods to increase their wheat production.


  • Between November 2001 and February 2002, the ICRC visited over 6,349  detainees in 66 places of detention under the responsibility of Afghan authorities or United States forces. Of these, some 5,916 were seen and registered for the first time. The total figure includes those prisoners transferred to the US military base at Guantanamo Bay , (currently 300).

  • Some 2,983  released detainees received assistance from the ICRC to return home. 

  • In co llaboration with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, the ICRC collected 1,865 Red Cross Messages (RCMs) from civilians and 1,551 from detainees in January and February. In the same period, 1,437 RCMs were distributed to civilians and 1,390 to detainees.

 Water and Habitat  


  • Upgrading of water, sewage and power systems, infrastructure repair work (kitchen, laundry), provision of consumable and non consumable heating items completed in 12hospitals and 2 orphanages in Kabul .

  • Rehabilitation of the sewage and infiltration systems, X Ray room and 2 pharmacy rooms completed in Jalalabad Hospital .

  • Upgrading utilities completed in 2 hospitals and technical studies for further rehabilitation in 4hospitals in the Northern provinces.

  • Rehabilitation of water supply systems or repair works on sewage systems in appartment Blocks in Kabul (including Microrayon, Qasabah, Qurgha). Emergency repairs on water network in Kabul and Herat .

  • Technical studies were completed for further rehabilitation of several water projects in Kabul and for the electrification of Logar water project.

  •  317 hand pumps maintained in Kabul , 5 new wells dug in Dar i Suf since January.

  • Water system, clinic, kitchen and sanitary utilities improved in Shiberghan prison to provide adequate facilities to over 2000 prisoners.



  • The ICRC continues 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.

  • Between March and April 24 hospitals throughout the country were assisted with medicines and hygiene articles as needed.

  • In March and April, these ICRC-assisted health facilities served close to 9,000 inpatients and   over 34,000 outpatients and   performed   over 5,800 operations.  

  • Following the outbreak of fighting in the area in April and May, the hospital in Ghardez (south of Kabul) was supplied with 2 War Wounded Kits to treat 200 patients.

 Orthopaedic Service  


  • 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 49,673  patients (including some 26,553 amputees) have been registered and assisted. Approximately 80% of the amputees assisted are mine victims (70% of them are civilians).

  • Between January and April, 619 patients were newly registered and assisted.

  • Since 1999, a total of 1,521  patients have benefited from micro credit support to start up small business. Since the beginning of 2002, 49 patients have received a micro credit support.

  • In 2001 69  patients aged 17-35 were assisted with vocational training, 622  school-aged patients were supported to continue their studies either at school or at home. Since January 2002, 12 patients for vocational training and 129 for schooling have been newly enrolled.

  • Since 1996, 426 patients of the Kabul Orthopaedic Centre were supported to find employment with the ICRC and other organisations. This includes 52 pat ients newly employed between January and April.

  • About 300  paraplegic patients in Kabul continue to receive regular visits by a Home Care Team. Medical treatment and advice are provided during the visits.

 Mine Action  


  • In collaboration with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, 334  mine awareness sessions were carried out in 287 different locations in the central Afghanistan between January and April. Some 14,580 adults and children in total attended the sessions.

  • In the same period, a total of 417 victims of mines and UXOs including 212 men and 205 boys were interviewed by the ICRC, and the information as to the circumstance of the accidents 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)  


  • In close collaboration with the ICRC and the Federation the ARCS participated actively in the relief operations after the earthquake in Nahrin. On 26.04 11 trucks with relief items (food and non food) were sent from Kabul and were distributed in the affected area by the ARCS volunteers. The ARCS also activated under the umb rella of the Federation 2 emergency mobile clinics whose 8 members visited 17 villages surrounding Nahrin and looked after 1228 patients .

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