Thursday, February 29, 2024

UN Chief describes Afghanistan as a ‘Forever Emergency

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

The UNHCR representative for Afghanistan, Leonard Zulu, describes the situation in Afghanistan as a “forever emergency” exacerbated by a government isolating itself and undermining human rights.

“The emergency that we had in August 2021 did not disappear,” he said about the Taliban takeover that left much of the world stunned, as reported by

Leonard Zulu, the UNHCR representative for Afghanistan, emphasized that the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is a “forever emergency” with the potential to recur due to a funding shortfall.

Zulu, whose office is located in Kabul, shared the challenges faced by Afghans and aid agencies during a visit to Brussels on December 4th. He highlighted that last year, approximately six million people in Afghanistan were on the brink of famine, as reported by EUobserver.

Afghanistan faces multiple challenges, including 29 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and the impact of earthquakes and floods that have devastated communities and displaced populations.

Since November, aid agencies in Afghanistan have had to deal with the deportation of nearly half a million Afghans from Pakistan, where 1.7 million Afghans had sought refuge, some since the Soviet occupation and others following the 2021 Taliban takeover. Many of these forced returnees have never been to Afghanistan and are being asked to reintegrate during the harsh winter months.

Aid agencies are under pressure due to the influx of Afghan returnees from Pakistan, which peaked at 20,000 daily arrivals but has now reduced to around 3,000 to 4,000. Moreover, arrivals from Iran are adding to the strain, stretching the resources of humanitarian organizations.

The Taliban have issued around 50 edicts and restrictions in the past two years, including banning women and girls from education, imposing full-body coverings, limiting access to public spaces, and prohibiting them from working for international aid agencies.         

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