Recent fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents in different parts of the country have displaced thousands of families from their native dwellings. Intensification of violence by Taliban have caused destruction of residential houses and forced people to take refugee to secure areas.
Taliban militants have encircled a number of districts and expelled residents of certain provinces from their villages. Last week, Taliban expelled over 400 Badakhshan families from Kunduz province and set ablaze their assets and shelters.
These families have now been accommodated in Faizabad city of Badakhshan and are living in open air and without food, water and other essentials. Likewise continued clashes in Helmand province caused hundreds of families to leave their villages and settle in Lashkargah, the provincial capital. According to government figures, in the last one month, over 15,0000 people have been displaced throughout the country.
The above data are unconfirmed and the real number of IDPs could be more than that, taking into account gravity of clashes. The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriates (MoRR) and the UNOCHA said that the war IDPs are living in a pitiful condition and are in urgent need of emergency aids. The IDPs are in urgent need of food, potable water and medical services.
The war IDPs mainly include, elders, women, children, and new born babies who are potentially vulnerable against hunger, warmth, infectious diseases including COVID-19. At a condition that the war scope has extensively expanded and the rate of violence has reached its highest level, tackling IDPs needs, no doubt, has its own difficulties, because Afghanistan is not in a normal situation. War and violence in one hand, and outbreak of the third wave of COVID-19 have created great challenges for government to deliver public services.
Afghan citizens are escaping war and violence to rescue their families, but the COVID-19 pandemic has ambushed them and potentially jeopardized their life. Nevertheless, the Afghan government has responsibility to tackle the citizens’ situation in one way or another and minimize rate of vulnerability of IDPs to its lowest possible level.
The relevant bodies of the Afghan government, particularly the State Ministry for Counter Disaster, Ministry of Public Health and Afghan Red Crescent Society should launch a campaign to tackle situation of war IDPs and supply humanitarian assistance to needy and deserving citizens who have escaped the war and lost their properties and belongings. They should request national and international relief organization as well as traders to play their role and assist the IDPs.
Otherwise, Afghanistan may face a big humanitarian crisis as a result of which large number of people will die due to starvation and pandemic. The anti-government elements, mainly Taliban should also help and shun violence, so that the aid agencies and government organs address the challenges of the people.
Afghans have been suffering for 40 years and they no longer tolerate bloodshed and losing of their beloved ones. Therefore, the warring parties should do more to avoid civilian casualties and provide them a safe and sound environment.