Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – The worsening security situation across Afghanistan in the wake of foreign troop withdrawal and Taliban advances, has forced an estimated 270,000 from their homes since January, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported, bringing the total internally displaced to more than 3.5 million.
The agency said that families were fleeing extortion by non-State armed groups and the dangers posed by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, along major roads.
Many also reported a breakdown in welfare support and a loss of income, owing to the rising insecurity.
To help those with acute needs, UNHCR and partners have provided newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water, sanitation and cash assistance, although many challenges remain in accessing vulnerable groups.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, the number of civilian casualties there rose by 29 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period 12 months ago.
An increasing proportion of women and children were among those targeted.
“The needs of those who have had to flee suddenly are acute”, said UNHCR Spokesperson, Babar Baloch, adding that as part of its coordinated response, the agency and partners “are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance, despite challenges in accessing vulnerable groups.”