'UNHCR not seeing large influx of Afghans crossing into Pakistan, Iran'

9/4/2021
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has not observed a large influx of Afghan refugees trying to cross the country's borders to Pakistan and Iran following the Taliban takeover of the war-torn nation, and the reasons behind this were being analysed, a top official said.

In fact, a displacement crisis is taking place inside Afghanistan, Xinhua news agency quoted UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch as saying in a statement on Friday.

However, it is difficult to gather information on the uncertain situation inside Afghanistan, as well as at the borders with neighbouring countries, he added.

Afghanistan could face a major crisis without trade and support flows, and the international community should not turn a blind eye to the situation, the spokesman stressed.

According to Baloch, traditionally, there has always been a lot of movement of persons and commercial flows between Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.

Currently, Afghans are still able to come through, but ID documents and visas must be shown, he said.

According to the latest UN figures, almost half of Afghanistan's population, or 18 million people, need humanitarian assistance in order to survive.

One in three Afghans does not know where their next meal will come from, while more than half of all children under five are expected to become acutely malnourished in the next year.

Afghans make up one of the largest refugee populations worldwide, according to the UNHCR.

There are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees in the world, of whom 2.2 million are registered in Iran and Pakistan alone.

Another 3.5 million people are internally displaced, having fled their homes searching for refuge within the country.

In light of the rapidly deteriorating security situation, the number of people fleeing will likely continue to rise.

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