Unrest in Afghanistan has displaced nearly 700,000 people in the first nine months of this year, said the UN on Monday.
In its report titled Afghanistan: Snapshot of Population Movements, January-September 2021, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that 677,000 people have left their homes this year due to fighting. It said many of these people remain displaced across the country, as conflict and poverty prevent them from returning to their areas of origin.
Also on Monday, the UN-affiliated groups warned that more than half of the Afghan population – a record 22.8 million people – will face acute food insecurity from November.
The warning was issued today in the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report by the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster of Afghanistan, co-led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the UN World Food Program.
According to the report, the combined impacts of drought, conflict, COVID-19, and the economic crisis have severely affected people’s lives, livelihoods, and access to food.
Three weeks back, the Taliban officials in Afghanistan began relocating thousands of displaced persons from capital Kabul to their native northern provinces.
The displaced families had left homes due to deadly clashes between the Taliban fighters and security forces of the former government in August.
As per the UNHCR estimates, nearly 300,000 Afghans have been internally displaced due to conflict in 2020 alone who remain in acute need of humanitarian support, as do the nearly 3 million previously displaced and the 9 million people who have lost their livelihoods due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
During his latest visit to the war-ravaged country, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, recalled that after more than 40 years, Afghan refugees continue to make up one of the largest and most protracted displacement situations.
The latest OCHA report noted that close to 938,000 people have returned from neighboring countries to Afghanistan so far this year, including 926,000 from Iran, 12,000 from Pakistan, and a small number from Europe.