IDP situation deteriorates in Herat, Afghanistan

The situation for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Herat, Afghanistan, has deteriorated considerably over the past weeks. Over 10,000 people have been moved from the inner parts of town to the Shayadee-camp, just outside the town. That camp is already overcrowded and MSF estimates that some 3,500 people remain just outside the camp.

At the same time, winter is starting with the first cold winds. The Shayadee-camp is housing some 14,000 people. Among them are new arrivals from the provinces of Ghor and eastern Badghis, who have fled the drought and the anticipation of the harsh circumstances of the coming winter.

The sanitary conditions around the camp are horrendous. The families who are staying outside the camp are separated by a maximum of three metres, have only open latrines and no shelter from the cold winds. The only assistance they receive so far is daily bread rations from the Red Crescent. MSF has taken responsibility to co-ordinate the assistance in the Shayadee-camp.

Meanwhile, the registration and distribution of shelter material and other relief items has started. The water-distribution and the sanitary conditions should improve soon, but the distribution of food will not start before November 1. However, by Monday, food donations will be distributed by ICRC.

An MSF mobile clinic started last Monday. Upper respiratory infections and diarrhoea are the most frequent ailments. So far over 250 people have been treated. A rapid assessment into malnutrition according to the MUAC-method started last Thursday in conjunction with a mass measles vaccination campaign and a vitamin A distribution.

The cholera-intervention in Bala Morghab ended last Wednesday. In the MSF cholera treatment centre over 800 patients were treated. In additon, more than 800 wells in the surroundings of Bala Morghab were chlorinated.