Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – A major humanitarian crisis is looming in Afghanistan, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warned again on Friday, amid ongoing uncertainty about the situation for vulnerable Afghans seeking shelter across the country’s borders. To address the crisis, the UN announced a major fundraising conference to take place in Geneva on 13 September.
“The conference will advocate for a swift scale-up in funding so the lifesaving humanitarian operation can continue; and appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need”, said a statement issued on Friday by the UN Spokesperson.
Stéphane Dujarric, said that the UN remains committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to millions of people in need across Afghanistan. “Development gains must also be protected to link the humanitarian response with the medium and long-term stability of Afghanistan. The rights, safety and wellbeing of women and girls are an essential part of this link.”
The “reality is, the displacement crisis is inside Afghanistan”, with more than 600,000 Afghans displaced this year, “80 per cent of which are women and children”, said UNHCR spokesperson, Babar Baloch, who was speaking from Pakistan earlier on Friday.
In an appeal to the world not to turn away its attention or focus from Afghans and Afghanistan, he warned that we cannot allow this “to become a humanitarian catastrophe”.
Describing the situation at the country’s borders with Pakistan, Mr. Baloch said UNHCR had not seen such a “large refugee influx”, crossing over into Pakistan and Iran before.