Afghanistan: UN and humanitarian partners respond to COVID-19 crisis
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, partners have delivered WASH assistance and hygiene promotion activities to more than 983,496 people and provided more than 74,000 men, women, boys and girls with psychosocial support to deal with the mental health-related consequences of the pandemic.
The response to COVID-19 is taking place against a backdrop of continued violence. UNAMA’s latest preliminary figures indicate a trend of escalating civilian casualties in April from operations conducted by all parties to the conflict. The United Nations is deeply concerned by the increase in civilian harm and the deterioration of parties’ respect for international humanitarian law, demonstrated by the recent attacks on healthcare facilities, threats to healthcare workers and occupation of health facilities, failures to take all feasible precautions in the conduct of airstrikes, and the indiscriminate use of explosives in civilian-populated areas.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability of affected people to access health services is critical. Humanitarians urge all parties to the conflict to facilitate unfettered access of civilian populations to humanitarian assistance and to take additional measures to ensure civilians, humanitarians, and critical infrastructure are safeguarded.