The UN said today that when the aerial evacuations end in Afghanistan, which is scheduled to happen this Tuesday 31, the real crisis will begin for the 39 million people who will remain inside the country and who will need help from the international community.
“The airlifts out of Kabul will end in a matter of days, the media frenzy will subside and the tragedy will no longer be visible, but it will remain the reality for millions of Afghans. We must not turn our backs on them because a far greater humanitarian crisis is just beginning,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned today.
In Afghanistan, 3.5 million people are living as internally displaced persons due to violence and half a million of them have been forced to flee their homes in the last eight months.
In addition, 2.3 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan and Iran, the two neighboring countries that have opened their doors to this population during the 40 years of conflict, and the UN warned that the pressure may increase for them.
Grandi explained that there may be new refugee flows, while the current situation hinders any prospect of return for Afghans who have been living in both countries for years, which will require other countries to “also assume their humanitarian responsibility” towards Afghanistan.
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“Those who fought for a place on the evacuation flights from Kabul are the same ones who in the coming weeks or months may approach our borders,” Grandi said.
The last major refugee crisis Europe experienced dates back to 2015-2016 and was caused by the civil war in Syria.