Afghanistan: UNHCR fears increase in displaced persons and refugees

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High Representative for Refugees Filippo Grady told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that he feared an increase in the number of displaced people in Afghanistan and refugees in neighboring countries, adding that he would visit Iran soon to discuss the issue.

“Because of the economic crisis in Afghanistan, ‘we are in danger of having an explosion that will cause an influx of people inside the country, but also outside the country, who will be looking for better living conditions,'” he told reporters after the council meeting via video link. from Geneva.

“It is something that can still be avoided at this stage, it needs a faster action regarding the installation of mechanisms to ensure the functioning of the economy, to secure the cash, to secure the services.”

“It simply came to our notice then. In fact, I will go to Iran myself in a few days and we will have talks with the Iranian leadership on this issue “, added Filippo Gradi, without going into details.

His services put the number of displaced Afghans at 3.5 million in Afghanistan today, many of whom were forced to flee their homes before the Taliban came to power in mid-August because of the war.

The UN official said he was not in a position to provide information on the expected new influx of displaced people and refugees, stressing that he had only been informed of some population movements.

For more than forty years, many Afghans have fled their country to escape war and job shortages in order to seek refuge in western Iran. Despite the dangers of famine in their own country, Iran has recently, until recently, deported tens of thousands of Afghans each week, including people who had settled on Iranian soil for years.

According to the HCR, by 2020 there were more than 3.4 million Afghans in Iran, of which nearly 2 million were undocumented and 800,000 were refugees.

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