Fast-moving Afghanistan crisis ‘has hallmarks of humanitarian catastrophe’

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Afghanistan is connected people to witnesser its highest ever fig of documented civilian casualties successful a azygous twelvemonth since records began, the UN exile bureau (UNHCR) said connected Friday.

As wide warring intensifies, UNHCR said that it was peculiarly acrophobic astir the interaction of the struggle connected women and girls arsenic “80 per cent of astir 250,0000 Afghans forced to fly since the extremity of May are women and children”, said spokesperson Shabia Mantoo.

“This is simply a staggering statistic,” Ms. Mantoo told journalists based astatine the UN successful Geneva. “We request to rise the alarm astir the disproportionate toll they are paying for what is happening connected the ground.”

According to a report published past month jointly by the UN quality rights bureau (OHCHR) and the UN Assistance Mission successful Afghanistan (UNAMA), much women and children were killed and wounded successful the archetypal fractional of 2021 than successful the archetypal six months of immoderate twelvemonth since records began successful 2009.

Echoing fears astir the interaction of the warring connected civilians, World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson Tomson Phiri explained that the struggle “has accelerated overmuch faster than we each anticipated and the concern has each the hallmarks of a humanitarian catastrophe”.

More cities captured

UN Refugee Agency latest update connected Afghanistan: 400,000 civilians forcibly displaced since the commencement of the year. Of the astir 250,000 forced from their homes sine the extremity of May, astir - 80% - are women and children.

— UNHCR News (@RefugeesMedia) August 13, 2021

According to latest reports, Taliban forces captured different 3 provincial capitals successful the country's southbound connected Friday and are gradually encircling Kabul. The insurgents present power much than two-thirds of the country, lone weeks earlier the planned last withdrawal of US and planetary troops.

The latest US subject quality appraisal suggests that the Afghan superior could travel nether insurgent unit wrong 30 days. 

As wide warring intensifies, meanwhile, thousands of Afghans person fled their homes amid fears the Taliban would again enforce a brutal, repressive government. The militant Islamist radical ruled the state from the mid-1990s until the station 9/11 attacks US-led invasion, successful precocious 2001.

Humanitarians are peculiarly acrophobic that the warring is progressively shifting to crowded municipality areas, portion UNHCR’s Shabia Mantoo noted that astir 120,000 Afghans had fled from agrarian areas and provincial towns to Kabul state since the opening of the year.

Seeking shelter

The expanding fig of civilians seeking structure successful towns and cities meant that “a increasing fig …do not person a spot to sleep”, said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA. “Normally they would spell to household and friends for shelter, but this is nary longer the case.”

A spike successful trauma cases has besides been reported, aggravated by the caller escalation successful violence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) healthcare centres person seen a 30 per cent summation successful patients compared to past year, with numbers astir doubling successful the past 2 to 3 months, said WHO spokesperson Fadela Chaib.

The warring has besides created caller challenges successful reaching communities successful request of nutrient assistance astir the country, warned the World Food Programme (WFP). “Aid workers are moving nether bonzer circumstances,” said spokesperson Tomson Phiri, who noted that 18.4 cardinal radical already necessitate humanitarian assistance, portion the struggle has displaced up to 390,000 radical this twelvemonth alone.

In the past 3 months, WFP has provided nutrient and nutrition assistance to 4.1 cardinal people, Mr Phiri said, but this is not enough.

UN inactive delivering

“Our program is to scale-up assistance to scope 9 cardinal radical by December,” helium said. However, the UN bureau is “severely under-resourced” and is needs $200 cardinal “to get america done to the extremity of the guarantee nutrient is wherever it’s needed erstwhile it’s needed.”

Reiterating the UN’s committedness to helping the radical of Afghanistan, OCHA’s Jens Laerke insisted that the enactment intended “to enactment and deliver”.

Open borderline plea

UNHCR’s Shabia Mantoo, meanwhile, urged the planetary assemblage to measurement up its effect to this latest Afghanistan displacement crisis, appealing to neighbouring countries to “keep their borders open”, arsenic an “inability to question information whitethorn hazard innumerable civilian lives”.

Countries hosting Afghans who whitethorn person planetary extortion needs should besides guarantee that they tin question safety, “regardless of their existent ineligible status”, the UNHCR spokesperson insisted.

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