In the first two weeks of October alone, UNHCR has assisted more than 60,000 people by providing emergency shelter, blankets, solar panels and cash assistance to the most vulnerable. Altogether, our emergency assistance has reached nearly half a million displaced people so far this year.
As the situation became more stable, some families began to return home. In early October, UNHCR supported 660 internally displaced families on their return to their places of origin. Some 158,000 displaced people have returned to their homes since the fighting subsided.
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Over the past weekend, three UNHCR relief flights landed in Tarmiz, Uzbekistan. 100 tons of emergency supplies will be transported to Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan and distributed to displaced families.
We have set up a logistics center in Markaz, less than two kilometers from the border between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. This is a crucial site for providing assistance to the Afghan people.
These trips are made possible through the cooperation between UNHCR and our partner UPS. In particular, it includes shelter materials, kitchen utensils and plastic sheeting to support more than 125,000 displaced people. Timing is crucial to getting ready for winter.
For example, we offer 23 m² “family tents” as temporary emergency shelter, designed by shelter professionals. The tent can withstand winds of up to 75 km/h and provide protection from rain and snow.
UNHCR is in the process of arranging more air shipments of humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan. In addition to providing emergency relief to the homeless, we continue to work in communities where former refugees have returned by investing in infrastructure, including education, health care, livelihoods and shelter.
Pakistan eases traffic through border crossings
UNHCR welcomes the recent announcement by the Pakistani authorities to facilitate the movement of goods and people through the official border crossings with Afghanistan.
Many Afghans, including women, children and people in need of urgent medical care, have been stranded for weeks at the Chaman Spin Boldak border crossing between the two countries. These borders have remained closed for the past three weeks.
The new steps help reduce fears and risks that people will be pushed into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, sometimes with deadly consequences.
90% of Afghan refugees are in Iran and Pakistan
Iran and Pakistan together host nearly 90 percent of all Afghan refugees worldwide, and have been doing so for more than four decades. There is an urgent need for more international support to enable the protection of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran. UNHCR is calling on Afghanistan’s neighbors to continue expanding protection facilities for those seeking safety.
We urgently appeal to the international community to increase financial contributions to Afghan fugitives. They desperately need support to survive the coming winter.
Helping fugitive Afghans
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