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Food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable returnees and refugees in Eastern Afghanistan and people displaced by conflict

Operation ID: 201024

In mid-July 2016 the rate of undocumented Afghani returnees Afghanistan increased dramatically from an average of 10-15 families a day in the first half of the year, to around 300-400 families per day by the end of August.  Due to the application of stricter policies from the Pakistan Government towards undocumented and documented refugees - those with the proof of registration cards (PoR) , accompanied by reports of intimidation and harassment, it is estimated that up to 400,000 undocumented returnees and around 200,000 documented refugee returnees will arrive in Afghanistan by the end of 2016 .

Many of the undocumented returnees lack basic necessities and are arriving in highly vulnerable physical and mental states, with the condition of children, pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and the elderly of very high concern. The assessment noted that shelter, water-sanitation-hygiene and food are the greatest needs for the new arrivals.

The sudden increase in returns coincides with an increase in the expected numbers of conflict- induced internally displaced persons (IDPs). The total number of expected IDPs far exceeds the projected numbers in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP 2016), resulting in an expected 400,000 new IDPs by the end of the year, mostly in the Northern, Southern and Eastern regions of the country. Already 3.5 million people are receiving humanitarian assistance and this exacerbates the situation, especially as the cold winter season approaches and many of these people are without shelter and access to public services as well as basic food stuffs.

In line with the UN Flash Appeal and through the nutrition and food security clusters, the Country Office (CO) is responding to these increased needs by launching an emergency operation (EMOP) for 9 months, from October 15, 2016 through July 14, 2017.  This is to ensure that needs are met through the harsh winter months and into the warmer season, in line with the Government’s request. The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 200447 supports some IDPs already but this EMOP will focus specifically on immediate needs created in this particular crisis.