October 20, 2016
The United Nations has warned that escalated fighting across Afghanistan could displace many more people, lamenting that international support is not enough to handle the unfolding crisis.
United Nations special rapporteur Chaloka Beyani said on Thursday that UN agencies had registered more than 323,000 Afghans as internally displaced people (IDPs) since the start of this year, in a continuation of an upward trend over the past four years.
“Warnings by humanitarian partners suggest that many more IDPs could be displaced by the end of the year, yet attention and resources allocated to their needs seem to be waning rather than increasing,” Beyani said during a briefing in Kabul, adding, “The displacement picture in Afghanistan is changing as the conflict evolves and intensifies.”
The UN official said more and more Afghans have been forced not to return to their homes as the Taliban-led insurgency continues to further undermine the country’s fragile security.
He said children have paid a heavy price as they have no access to proper education in displacement camps.
“It is no exaggeration to speak of a lost generation of displaced Afghan children deprived of education since children constitute about 56 per cent of the displaced population,” Beyani said, adding, “Displacement is becoming more protracted for more people as the security situation has led many to make the difficult decision not to return to their homes.”
Afghanistan has been grappling with the issue of IDPs for decades.
The country has been beset by a fresh wave of Taliban attacks from north to the south, which has left many uprooted from their homes.
Aid groups warn that the situation may escalate in the short time remaining to winter, when fighting normally subsides.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Beyani reiterated previous calls on governments and donors to step up their support, saying aid agencies will need at least 150 million dollars to meet urgent needs, including winter assistance packages.
“I urge the donor community to respond generously and rapidly to that call,” he said.