Maryam, 24 and displaced

Four Afghan women in Bamyian Province, Afghanistan Four Afghan women in Bamyian Province, Afghanistan © Photo by christophe_cerisier on iStock

Maryam is another victim among an estimated 270,000 Afghans who have been newly displaced inside the country of Afghanistan since the start of this year by an upsurge in violence. She’s now found shelter in Nawabad Farabi-ha camp on the outskirts of Mazar-e Sharif city, along with her four children. 

While sitting inside her tent, she recalls those endless moments of fear and panic that her flee has meant. Having been forced to move four times in the span of a few years due to internal clashes, her children are unable to attend school and are dressed in worn clothes covered in grime and dust.

The United Nations report that at the beginning of 2021, half the population of Afghanistan – including more than 4 million women and nearly 10 million children – were already needing humanitarian assistance. One third of the population was facing crisis and emergency levels of acute food insecurity and more than half of all children under 5 years of age were malnourished. Those needs have risen sharply because of conflict, drought and COVID-19. Since the end of May, the number of people internally displaced because of conflict and in need of immediate humanitarian aid more than doubled, reaching 550,000.

Recently, Taliban militants retook Afghanistan's capital, almost two decades after they were driven from Kabul by US troops.  Although Afghan security forces were equipped, they put up little resistance as Taliban militants seized much of the country following the withdrawal of US troops beginning in early July. People like Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had enough luck to flee the country, abandoning the presidential palace to Taliban fighters, but those people are very few in comparison to those who couldn’t escape and were left behind, just like Maryam. 

 

Sources:

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/16/middleeast/taliban-control-afghanistan-explained-intl-hnk/index.html 

UNHCR - UNHCR warns that humanitarian needs in Afghanistan cannot be forgotten

https://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2021/7/60f008f54/displaced-afghan-family-struggles-cope-amid-latest-violence.html 

 

Author: Benedetta Spizzichino

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