Spiking summer temperatures in Afghanistan are threatening some 100,000 displaced people sheltering on the outskirts of the city of Herat. At the same time, humanitarian assistance is being reduced and stores of water are running out.
People fled their villages in the provinces of Herat, Faryab, Badghis, and Ghor in northwestern Afghanistan last year during a severe drought and increased fighting between armed opposition groups and Afghan security forces. One year on, the drought is over but continuing insecurity makes it impossible to return to their homes.
“In summer, the displaced people have no protection from the sun other than their tents, set up on the bare land of the Herat settlements,” says Raphaël Torlach, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) project coordinator in Herat. “Their water supply is inadequate, and their access to health care and basic services is very limited. We are very concerned that humanitarian assistance is being reduced and that it may not be sustained.”
MSF is increasing its medical services at a clinic in Kahdistan, a camp near Herat city, and is calling for assistance from other humanitarian actors.