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The Other Refugee Crisis: Afghan Civilians still Needing Aid

The Other Refugee Crisis: Afghan Civilians still Needing Aid © Al Jazeera

16 September 2015
As refugees pour into Europe Afghan civilians have been forgotten in the midst of an economic downturn and record breaking unemployment rates.

Until last year, Afghans accounted for the largest refugee population with 2.6 million people, 10% of Afghanistan’s population, displaced. As the Syrian refugee crisis continues, suffering Afghan civilians struggle to get the attention and aid they need. Violence from the Taliban and other militia forces against the Afghan government also continues to rise as international military and financial support decreases.

The first six months of 2015 saw the highest increase of violence from the Taliban and militia forces. The United Nations reports almost 5,000 civilian casualties due to the Taliban and improvised explosives. More than 1,000 of these deaths were caused by 44 separate complex suicide attacks by the Taliban and other anti-government forces. During these months, the UN reported the highest number of women and children civilian casualties since they began record keeping in 2009.

Civilians not only face violence, but the country’s economic downturn has forced many civilians to flee the country. With security deteriorating because of the withdrawal of international military assistance, the Afghan economy has suffered. International financial support has also decreased.

As long as the violence and insecurity continue in Afghanistan, Afghan refugees will likely continue to pour into Europe. Currently Afghan refugees make up 13% of those fleeing to Europe, second only to Syrians.

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