UNHCR warns for new displacements in Afghanistan

A father and his child sitting on a clod of earth A father and his child sitting on a clod of earth Photo by ArmyAmber on Pixabay

13 July 2021

Worsening conflict in northern Afghanistan has forced thousands of people to flee their homes

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR is warning of a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings about increased human suffering and civilian displacement. As reported on 13 July by the agency, an estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021. According to Voanews, more than 3.5 million people are currently displaced inside Afghanistan.  The increase in the displacement is mainly due to the escalating conflict, which generates insecurity and ongoing violence.

With the progressive withdrawal of US troops, Afghanistan is now finding itself in the crossfire between the Taliban, regional warlords and other rising insurgents functioning on the basis of ethnic affiliations. The ongoing fighting and the consequent conditions of insecurity are forcing families to flee their homes in recent weeks and United Nations (UN) cite the worsening security situation as the predominant reason for their flight. The needs of those who have had to flee suddenly are acute. UNHCR and partners, as part of a coordinated response, are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance, despite challenges in accessing vulnerable groups. Many have reported interruptions to social services and a loss of income due to rising insecurity. In addition, displaced civilians have told UNHCR and partners of incidents of extortion by non-state armed groups and the presence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on major roads.

A failure to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan and stem the current violence will lead to further displacement within the country, as well as to neighbouring countries and beyond. Iran and Pakistan host nearly 90 per cent of displaced Afghans, granting access to territory and protection to refugees, along with health and educational services through national systems. UNHCR urges the international community to step up support to the Government and people of Afghanistan and its neighbours at this critical moment, in a spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing. 

 

Sources:

https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/afghanistan-brink-new-humanitarian-crisis-un-officials-say

https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2021/7/60ed3ba34/unhcr-warns-imminent-humanitarian-crisis-afghanistan.html

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/07/15/us-withdrawal-and-ethnic-conflicts-in-afghanistan/

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/07/1095782

 

Author Jasmina Saric; Editor Gianpaolo Mascaro

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