Up to 200,000 return refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, officials of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR) said on Sunday.
This has raised alarm over what could become a humanitarian disaster amid a harsh winter and ongoing violence.
Statistics by these two departments reveal that last year up to one million Afghans were displaced and another one million returned from Pakistan and Iran.
The officials said many return refugees have still not been resettled in their original regions.
With the surge in violence in the country over the past year, thousands of Afghans were forced to leave their homes in Kunduz, Farah, Uruzgan, Helmand, Nangarhar, Faryab, Ghazni, Sar-e-Pul, Paktia, Baghlan and Badghis.
Aminullah is one Kunduz resident who fled in the aftermath of last year’s war.
Aminullah and his family spent four months in a tent in Kabul.
“I was living in a tent, but with the arrival of winter we relocated to this room; I get 5,000 Afs salary and pay 3,000 Afs in rent, only 2,000 Afs remain and the government has done nothing to help us so far,” said Aminullah.
MoRR has said that the majority of those who returned from Iran and Pakistan are in need of humanitarian assistance.
“Assessments indicate that currently up to 200,000 return refugees and internally displaced persons are in need of humanitarian assistance,” said Fazel Ahmad Azimi, deputy minister of refugees and repatriations for policy and planning.
The Afghan government has however announced the allocation of one billion Afs to facilitate these return refugees and internally displaced persons. Government has also pledged to give them 270 million Afs in cash.
“About $500 million USD is needed to address their needs; government is set to ask the international community for the money within the next two weeks,” said State Minister for Disaster Management Wais Ahmad Barmak.
According to Barmak, during the 1395 solar year, 1,500 refugees and internally displaced people lost their lives and 2,600 others were wounded in clashes and natural disasters.