Suffering protracted conflict and insecurity as well as disasters such as droughts, floods and storms, Afghanistan faces one of the world’s most severe internal displacement crises. The needs remain enormous with half of the Afghan population requiring humanitarian assistance.
In addition to the 2.9 million IDPs registered in 2020, as of 29 August 2021 about 570,482 Afghans have been newly displaced since January 2021, with 32 out of 34 provinces recording levels of forced displacement due to conflict and human rights violations. Some 120,000 Afghans have fled to Kabul province from rural areas and provincial towns, of which 20,000 only since the beginning of July. 80% of the people forced to flee are women and children. (UNHCR)
With the announcement of the withdrawal of international troops – started in May and ended on 30 August 2021 – the already uncertain situation rapidly deteriorated. Although there are still no precise figures about the number of Afghans fleeing the country, only between 7 July 2021 and 9 August 2021 133,370 new IDPs were registered and others are still trying to cross international borders. (OCHA) As of 1 September 2021, there are 72,065 refugees and asylum seekers in Afghanistan.
While underlying the urgency of humanitarian corridors and calling on all countries to allow civilians fleeing Afghanistan access their territories, international organisations are also calling for a ban on forced returns of Afghan nationals, including asylum seekers whose claims were previously rejected.
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