Afghanistan: 270,000 newly displaced this year, warns UNHCR

The worsening security situation across Afghanistan in the wake of foreign troop withdrawal and Taliban advances, has forced an estimated 270,000 from their homes since January, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported, bringing the total internally displaced to more than 3.5 million.

The agency said that families were fleeing extortion by non-State armed groups and the dangers posed by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, along major roads. Many also reported a breakdown in welfare support and a loss of income, owing to the rising insecurity.

To help those with acute needs, UNHCR and partners have provided newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water, sanitation and cash assistance, although many challenges remain in accessing vulnerable groups.

The agency is urging the international community to step up support to the Government and people of Afghanistan and its neighbours at this “critical moment”, stressed the agency Spokesperson, “in a spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing.” More