The UNHCR chief says contingency plans are being prepared for more civilians displaced amid fears of renewed violence.
The United Nations is preparing for the planned displacement of more civilians in Afghanistan after troops belonging to the United States and other nations leave the country in September, the head of the agency told Reuters. refugees from the world body.
Violence is on the rise as foreign forces begin to withdraw and efforts to push through a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban slow.
Filippo Grandi, head of the UNHCR, pointed to a deadly attack last week on an international demining organization in northern Afghanistan, which killed 10 people.
“This is a tragic indicator of the type of violence that may be resurfacing in Afghanistan and, with the withdrawal of international troops, this is perhaps or probably going to become worse,” Grandi said Monday.
“So we are doing a contingency plan in the country for further displacement, in neighboring countries in case people could cross borders,” he said, without offering details of those plans.
There are currently about 2.5 million registered Afghan refugees in the world, while another 4.8 million are internally displaced, according to the UNHCR.
Twenty years after the invasion of the country, the United States has begun withdrawing the remaining 2,500 troops and aims to be completely out of Afghanistan by September 11th. Some 7,000 non-US forces from major NATO countries – along with Australia, New Zealand and Georgia – are also planning to leave by that date.
U.S.-led forces killed the Taliban in late 2001 for refusing to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. .
Grandi said strong international support was needed for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
“It is the political action that should replace the conflict but, of course, the risk (of further displacement) is there and we need to be prepared,” he said.
“What is needed is a high level of economic support for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan to maximize the chance that the Afghan authorities have of stabilizing the situation,” UN aid chief Mark said on Monday. Lowcock to Reuters.
“There has been a good and constructive outreach from the Biden administration, from the White House down, and we’ve actually had very productive discussions with them about this,” added Lowcock, who is stepping down from his role this month.
Earlier this month, the United States announced more than $ 266 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, bringing the total amount of such aid it has provided since 2002 to nearly $ 3.9 billion.
About 18.4 million people, nearly half the country’s population, are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN, which has requested $ 1.3 billion in funding by 2021. To date, it has received only about 23 percent of it.
Lowcock said that until a few years ago there had been a lot of international attention on Afghanistan. This is “dissipated and weakened and this is a kind of problem when it comes to drawing attention to the needs of Afghanistan and getting support for them.”