Tuesday, May 30, 2023

UN warns of Afghan refugee surge, calls for urgent assistance

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned of a surge in Afghan refugees amid mounting fears of economic collapse in the war-ravaged country and called for urgent economic aid. The official stated he will travel to Tehran to discuss the issue with Iranian officials.

“We risk having an implosion that will cause an inflow of people inside the country for sure but at that point also outside of the country in quest of better conditions of life,” Grandi told reporters via video link from Geneva.

The UN has repeatedly warned that Afghanistan is on the brink of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

More than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million population is expected to face hunger this winter, according to aid groups, as the economy teeters on the verge of collapse following the Taliban’s return to power and as international aid remains frozen.

Grandi noted that the crisis can still be avoided, but it requires faster action in terms of implementing systems to ensure the Afghan economy can function, that services continue and that cash flow into the country resumes.

He added that he will travel to Tehran in several days to discuss the issue with Iran’s leaders.

Iran has been a leading destination for Afghan refugees fleeing war and economic troubles for decades.

According to the UNHCR, there are 3.4 million Afghans in Iran, including nearly two million undocumented migrants and 800,000 refugees.

Furthermore, some 3.5 million Afghans have been displaced inside their country, many of them before the Taliban came to power in August, according to UN estimates.

Grandi would not say how many people have been displaced since the Taliban takeover and how many new refugees are expected because he didn’t not have those numbers yet.

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has also announced that they need up to $2 billion to save the lives of children and their families and the health system of Afghanistan overall.

The humanitarian organization said in a statement on Tuesday amount of money will address the needs of 24 million people half of whom are children.

UNICEF has further added that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is getting worse and that the Afghans are facing shocking health systems, disastrous food dearth, the spread of measles, diarrheas, Polio, and other preventable diseases ahead.

“Humanitarian situation, in particular, the situation of children is dire in Afghanistan. The winter has approached but without enough money, UNICEF and its partners will not be able to address the needs of children and their families. Millions of people are starving,” noted Alice Akunga, UNICEF representative to Afghanistan.

In the meantime, UNICEF has stated that half of the Afghan children under five will be facing food shortages and unhealthy water in 2022.

It comes as the UN has also estimated that over 24 million people in Afghanistan are living in humanitarian crisis.

› Subscribe


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More Articles