Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Worsening Displacement Crisis in Afghanistan

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Worsening Displacement Crisis in Afghanistan

Afghans have been suffering nearly 40 years of continuous armed conflict and social disorders. Yet, the country continues to suffer widespread violence, insecurity, poverty, unemployment, migrations and human rights violations. After the 2014 presidential election that resulted in the embattled National Unity Government (NUG) and the withdrawal of NATO forces, violence continues to surge throughout the country. The several divided wings Taliban has been making gains and unwilling to engage in any peace talks with the NUG. Furthermore, the so-called ISIS has been gaining ground in many provinces in recent months. The renewed insurgency is applying increasing pressure on government resources which are already diminished by reduced levels of international aid.  As a result, Afghanistan has got the place of largest producer of displacement and refugees in the world!
Recently, the United Nations has warned that escalated fight across Afghanistan could displace many more people, lamenting that international support is not enough to handle the unfolding crisis. United Nations special reporter Chaloka Beyani said on last Thursday that UN agencies had registered more than 323,000 Afghans as internally displaced people (IDPs) since the start of this year, in a continuation of an upward trend over the past four years. “Warnings by humanitarian partners suggest that many more IDPs could be displaced by the end of the year, yet attention and resources allocated to their needs seem to be waning rather than increasing,” Beyani said during a briefing in Kabul.
The displacement picture in Afghanistan is changing as the conflict evolves and intensifies. The UN official said more and more Afghans have been forced not to return to their homes as the Taliban-led insurgency continues to further undermine the country’s fragile security”. He said children have paid a heavy price as they have no access to proper education in displacement camps."It is no exaggeration to speak of a lost generation of displaced Afghan children deprived of education since children constitute about 56 per cent of the displaced population," Beyani said, adding, "Displacement is becoming more protracted for more people as the security situation has led many to make the difficult decision not to return to their homes."Afghanistan has been grappling with the issue of IDPs for decades. The country has been beset by a fresh wave of Taliban attacks from north to the south, which has left many uprooted from their homes. Aid groups warn that the situation may escalate in the short time remaining to winter, when fighting normally subsides.  Elsewhere in his remarks, Beyani reiterated previous calls on governments and donors to step up their support, saying aid agencies will need at least 150 million dollars to meet urgent needs, including winter assistance packages.“I urge the donor community to respond generously and rapidly to that call,” he said
It is said that the majority of those displaced are from war-hit regions such as Kunduz and Uruzgan; the conflict in Kunduz and Faryab provinces has also largely contributed to this problem and many displaced residents from this Northern Province have sought refuge in Kabul city. Concerns have also been raised as winter fast approaches. Hence, government has been criticized over its inability to address the problems of these Internally displaced refugees; Families do not have good living conditions; half of them have not been given aid; government's financial resources are also not enough to address the problems of the displaced families, (especially) before winter. The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations has confirmed that only half of the internally displaced families have been given humanitarian assistance.
Since the start of the March 2016, more than 450,000 people have been displaced in the country; the problem is that we do not have access to sufficient financial resources to meet the challenge," said Hafiz Ahmad Miakhail, media advisor of the ministry of refugees and repatriations. Statistics show that currently the number of internally displaced persons across the nation is estimated to be over 1.2 million in total. As In recent months, there has been a sudden increase in arrival of refugees returning from Pakistan.
In addition, about one million people are expected to return to Afghanistan by the end of March 2017 due to political and security developments from both the Pakistan and Afghanistan sides of the border. Although the voluntary repatriation of Afghan returnees was long announced, negotiations with humanitarian actors have delayed the actual return process. Due to a change of dynamics in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, especially with an intensifying spread of terrorism, the presence of the so-called Islamic State (IS)/ Da’esh in both countries and Afghanistan’s deepening ties with India the issue of returns is again at the forefront. According to reports, an average of 7,400 Afghan returnees has been crossing the border into Afghanistan on the daily basis while the previous ones have not been settled yet.
Consequently, Afghanistan considered as one of the largest producer of displacement and refugees crisis in the world! Afghan refugees make up over than 21% of the world refugees, who have fled to Europe since January 2015 due to worsening security situation. 
In addition, Afghanistan has recognized as the largest producer of narcotics in the world! These caused serious doubts and question in intention for serious fight against terrorism, narcotics and poverty in the country. Therefore, the authorities as well the international partners should understand that this is the high time to revise the policies and strategies against the deteriorating challenges.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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