IOM addresses humanitarian needs of Afghans

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People living in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan are in critical need of emergency aid. Basic service delivery has been severely impacted and development programmes have been suspended….reports Asian Lite News

Over one year after the Taliban takeover, an estimated 24.4 million people – 59 per cent of the population in Afghanistan – are dependent on international aid and emergency relief in their day-to-day lives, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Thursday.

Since August 2021, nearly all Afghans have plunged into poverty and the country has been facing the risk of systemic collapse.

This humanitarian catastrophe is largely driven by rising food prices, severe malnutrition, limited livelihood opportunities, as well as the conflict-driven displacement and complex protection needs, including emergency accommodation, referrals, and family reunification.

People living in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan are in critical need of emergency aid. Basic service delivery has been severely impacted and development programmes have been suspended. Ongoing economic and environmental shocks have led to significant drops in income, shrinking remittance flows, and surging prices for food and other commodities.

In this complex situation, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to address humanitarian needs and reduce protection risks for people on the move while working towards mitigating the impact of ongoing and emerging crises like the major earthquake that struck this June.

Over the past 12 months, IOM has assisted more than 1.3 million Afghans through the distribution of food, temporary shelter, access to protection, water, hygiene, health services and other essentials.

Shelter activities have been drastically expanded, reaching almost one out of two Afghans in need, while healthcare grew from 4 provinces before August 2021 to 13 as of August 2022, supporting more than 411,000 individuals with life-saving services.

A year after the start of the crisis, IOM’s Comprehensive Action Plan 2021-2024 is only funded at 34 per cent, with most of the funding focusing on the most fundamental humanitarian needs.

In light of the deteriorating living conditions due to a rise in the cost of living, the impact of the war in Ukraine on food and fuel prices, a major rise in unemployment and climate change induce shocks and disasters, IOM seeks additional funding for recovery programming inside Afghanistan.

The progress made in support of the Afghan people must be amplified in the coming months and ahead of the upcoming winter.

Last month, a London-based rights group called on the international community to provide financial and material support to countries which host a large number of Afghans, including Iran and Turkey.

“They must ensure that this funding does not contribute to human rights violations – this is critical, as the European Union has already provided funds for Turkey’s new border wall, as well as for the construction of several ‘removal centres’ where Amnesty International documented Afghans being detained,” Amnesty International said in a recent report.

Other countries must also increase resettlement opportunities for Afghans who need international protection.

Hundreds of thousands of Afghans have fled their country since the Taliban took power in August 2021. Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries have closed their borders to Afghans without travel documents, leaving many people with no choice but to travel irregularly.

This means entering Iran through informal border crossings – such as through crawling under a fence near an official crossing in Afghanistan’s Herat Province, or climbing over a two-metre-high wall in Nimroz province. (ANI)

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