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Afghanistan: Floods - Final Report, DREF Operation n° MDRAF008

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Glide number: FL-2021-000050-AFG


Description of the disaster

A total of 16 provinces in five regions across the country were affected by consecutive flash floods on 3 May 2021 following heavy rains since 2 May 2021. Since the commencement of the DREF operation and with the worsening weather, ANDMA updated on 12 May 2021 the fatality tally had increased to at least 84 deaths, 32 people missing, 2,600 residential homes partially or totally destroyed, 3,600 animals perished, and more than 2,023 hectares of farmland ravaged across 17 provinces of Afghanistan. These conditions led to blocked roads and key supply lines in many provinces and hampered rescue efforts, mandating the need for heavy machinery to restore access.

The various affected provinces have also experienced internal displacements due to conflicts, and temporary cessation of health services during prolonged fighting between the then Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and non-state armed groups (NSAG). According to the Weekly Humanitarian Update published by UN OCHA on 30 May 2021, the accumulated number of people affected by natural disasters numbered 22,624, with 115,825 people verified displaced by conflict.

Provincial disaster management committees spearheaded the coordination in terms of assigning teams to carry out the assessments and the response. As a result of the assessment, a total of 404 houses were reportedly fully destroyed, 482 partially destroyed, and in general 697 families affected by the flood in Bamiyan, Herat, Wardak, Sari-e-Pol, Takhar and Panjshir provinces.

While ARCS has been actively involved in the flood response operations together in coordination with various governmental and humanitarian actors and had conducted various aid distribution activities and training for ARCS, the events of 15 August 2021, when the change of government happened, led to the suspension of further activities since.
These were due in large part to the cessation of banking services and persistent difficulties in accessing cash for the implementation of activities. Nevertheless, these issues were systematically resolved and activities resumed with about two months' delay.

The devastating floods affected Afghanistan which was already grappling with complex humanitarian emergencies, such as escalating conflict, and crippling poverty with the third wave of COVID-19 that was rising steadily in mid-May 2021, with compounding socio-economic impacts. Moreover, the years of conflict and instability have caused livelihood disruption and displacements. In the first half of 2021, an estimated 140,691 people were displaced due to armed clashes. The heightened conflict was seen across Afghanistan from June to August 2021. In August 2021, the political context of Afghanistan changed drastically as new authorities took charge and the process of reshaping the country’s administrative setup started. The dramatic changes took place in the backdrop of a complex humanitarian crisis resulting from the convergence of conflict, severe drought, acute food insecurity, displacement induced by conflict and disasters, impacts of COVID-19, gaps in health services, widespread poverty, and economic hardships.