The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and humanitarian partners have launched a response plan to support 7.9 million refugees, including 5.2 million Afghans and 2.7 million of their local hosts across the region, according to a statement on Tuesday.
The UN refugee agency stated that the new appeal for the Afghan situation in 2023 seeks $613 million to support Afghan sheltering in five neighbouring countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Around 8.2 million Afghan refugees live in the neighbouring countries, including over 2 million registered refugees. Many have been in the region for decades, mainly in the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan. Meanwhile, more than 1.6 million have sought refugees in the region since 2021.
According to the document, Afghanistan is severely suffering from a dire humanitarian crisis; an estimated 28.3 million people comprise two-thirds of the country’s population, including women and girls needing urgent humanitarian aid.
Since the last August, the humanitarian situation has further deteriorated due to the new decree introduced by the Taliban authorities, in which women are banned from education and working with NOGs.
Since most civil society organizations are women-led, the ban on working women in international organizations further disrupts the aid process.
The ban on female staff working with the international community has been criticized by most international organizations, including the UN and other regional countries, and urged the de facto authorities to reverse their policies regarding women and girls’ fundamental rights.
The United Nations appealed to the international community to support the people of Afghanistan by delivering assistance and protection inside Afghanistan and in the region amid a humanitarian crisis.