UN warns of impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned of an impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan due to continued violence in the country, Afghan news portal Tolo news reported today, July 14

UN warns of impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

The UNHCR estimates that 270,000 Afghans have fled their homes since January 2021 due to insecurity and increasing violence. This brings the total number of refugees inside the country to more than 3.5 million.

In addition, civilians report extortion by non-State armed groups and the presence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on major roads.

Many report disruption of social services and loss of income due to growing insecurity.

According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the number of civilian casualties in the first quarter of this year has increased by 29%, compared to 2020. More and more women and children are among those under attack.

People have fallen into a very difficult situation. UNHCR and humanitarian organizations are assisting those affected by the fighting with emergency shelter, food, health care, water, and cash assistance where possible, as part of a coordinated and adequate response, despite difficulties in accessing these vulnerable groups.

UNHCR says the Afghan people’s living standards have been pushed to the lowest level by lingering conflict, high levels of internal migration, the effects of Covid-19 and recurrent natural disasters including drought. Meanwhile, about 65% of the Afghan population, both inside and outside Afghanistan, are children and young people.

“The failure to reach a peace agreement and stop the violence is causing further displacement within the country as well as outside”, –  the UN said in a statement.

Iran and Pakistan host nearly 90 per cent of Afghan migrants. That’s about two million people, according to UNHCR.

Both countries have provided Afghan refugees with access to territory and protection, as well as health and education services through national systems.

“Their welcoming and inclusive policies over decades and across generations should not be taken for granted”, – the report says.

UNHCR urges the international community as well as its neighbours to step up their support for the Afghan government and people at this critical time. Show a spirit of solidarity and share the burden.

Financial assistance to refugees so far accounts for only 43% of the required $337 million.

Overall, the Afghan government and the UN estimate that Afghanistan needs $953 million in humanitarian assistance and between $200 million and $250 million for development programs.

The report, dubbed the Joint Humanitarian Appeal, says more than 18 million Afghans are in need of assistance because of the war, drought and coronavirus.

The United Nations and the Afghan Ministry of Finance have appealed to international donors for this assistance.

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