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Sharp rise in displaced families fleeing conflict: UN

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: least 330,000 people have been displaced in the last seven months due to an increase in conflict across Afghanistan, the UN reported Saturday. “So far in 2021, 330,000 people have been displaced by conflict across Afghanistan. Another five million people remain displaced since 2012,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported.

According to the report, the fighting has also been reported in new areas in the northeast province of Kunar, displacing 20,000 people within the province, and Nangahar Province. “Nine UN and partner organizations’ teams are assessing needs in Kandahar. Last week, about 1,800 internally displaced people received food, relief items, and water and sanitation hygiene support as well as physiotherapy and cash assistance.

In Kunar, UN and partner organizations are assessing needs and responding. “Urgent needs include food, water, shelter, and health services,” the report said. As conflict intensifies in northern Afghanistan and other parts of the country, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned of an imminent humanitarian crisis, saying failure to reach a peace agreement will see further displacement.

Fahim Hamdard, Senior Field Assistant, UN Refugee Agency, stated: “Over the last year, families have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a devastating drought and now increased violence in the north and northeast regions is driving more people from their homes every day.”

Amid an overall increase in civilian casualties, the proportion of women and children affected by violence has risen sharply since January, adding to the toll Afghanistan’s decades-long conflict has taken on people like Maryam and her family.

UNHCR and its partners are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health care, water, and sanitation support, and cash assistance, but a shortage of funding means humanitarian resources are falling dramatically short.

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