UN / AFGHANISTAN DISPLACED POPULATION

13-Jul-2021 00:01:12
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned of “a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings increased human suffering and civilian displacement,” a UN spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN DISPLACED POPULATION
TRT: 1:12
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 13 JULY 2021, NEW YORK CITY
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FILE

1.Exterior shot, UN flag at the UN Headquarters

13 JULY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, spokesperson going to podium
3.Cutaway, reporter taking notes
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General:
“The UN Refugee Agency today warned of a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings increased human suffering and civilian displacement. According to UNHCR, an estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021 – primarily due to insecurity and violence. This brings the total uprooted population to more than 3.5 million. The UN Refugee Agency said that the needs of those who have had to flee suddenly are acute. UNHCR and partners, as part of a coordinated response, are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance, despite challenges in accessing vulnerable groups. UNHCR warns that a failure to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan and stem the current violence will lead to further displacement within the country, as well as to neighbouring countries and beyond.”
5.Cutaway, reporter taking notes
6.Wide shot, spokesperson at the podium
STORYLINE
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned of “a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings increased human suffering and civilian displacement,” a UN spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday (13 Jul).

According to UNHCR, an estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021 – primarily due to insecurity and violence – bringing the total uprooted population to over 3.5 million.

“The UN Refugee Agency said that the needs of those who have had to flee suddenly are acute,” said Farhan Haq, UN Deputy Spokesperson at a press briefing in New York.

Families forced to flee their homes in recent weeks cite the worsening security situation as the predominant reason for their flight. In addition to ongoing fighting, displaced civilians have told UNHCR and partners of incidents of extortion by non-state armed groups and the presence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on major roads. Many have reported interruptions to social services and a loss of income due to rising insecurity.

The number of civilian casualties has risen 29 per cent during the first quarter of this year compared to 2020, according to UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. An increasing proportion of women and children were among those targeted.

“UNHCR and partners, as part of a coordinated response, are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance, despite challenges in accessing vulnerable groups,” said Haq.

The resilience of the Afghan people has been pushed to the limit by prolonged conflict, high levels of displacement, the impact of COVID-19, recurrent natural disasters, including drought, and deepening poverty. Some 65 per cent of the Afghan population – in and outside of Afghanistan – are children and young people.

UNHCR warned that a failure to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan and stem the current violence will lead to further displacement within the country, as well as to neighbouring countries and beyond.

Iran and Pakistan host nearly 90 per cent of displaced Afghans - more than two million registered Afghan refugees in total. Both countries have granted access to territory and protection to Afghan refugees, along with health and educational services through national systems.

UNHCR urged the international community to step up support to the Government and people of Afghanistan and its neighbours at this critical moment, in a spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing.

Humanitarian resources are currently falling dramatically short. UNHCR’s financial appeal for the Afghanistan situation (including operations for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran) remains acutely underfunded, at only 43 per cent of a total USD 337 million required.
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