AFGHANISTAN

UN Refugee Agency notes engagement with IEA has been ‘positive’

Filippo Grandi, the head of the United Nations Refugee Agency has said while the humanitarian response in Afghanistan is extremely urgent, engagement between the UN and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on the humanitarian aid front “has been relatively positive”.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Grandi said: “The humanitarian response in Afghanistan is extremely urgent because winter has set in. It’s snowing very heavily in vast parts of Afghanistan, and the needs are growing exponentially.”
Grandi pointed out that while 3.5 million people are displaced within Afghanistan, most were displaced prior to the IEA coming into power.
“They actually were already displaced when the Taliban (IEA) took over in August. They were displaced by years of conflict between the previous government and the Taliban. And it’s–the question is that after the 15th of August, the situation has deteriorated further, in so many different ways–more than half of the population on the brink of famine, a very big percentage, I would say 80 percent of the health system paralyzed and unable to work, huge water problem, compounded by an endemic drought that climate change is making even worse. Seventy percent of the teachers are not being paid,” he said.
He said he and his UN colleagues have been visiting Kabul quite regularly since the takeover of the IEA “and I think this engagement is important. At the moment, it is, you know, very much on the humanitarian side. And on that front, I have to say engagement has been relatively positive, constructive.
“In fact, humanitarian organizations, UN, NGOs, Red Cross, and others, have more access to more areas of Afghanistan now than they have had for years, because that conflict that I spoke about that displaced so many people is actually–isn’t happening right now, has ended with the takeover of the Taliban (IEA). That has opened up many areas that were previously very insecure,” he said.
“It’s interesting. There is a figure that is very seldom quoted. We estimate that 170,000 displaced people, especially among the most recently displaced have actually returned to their homes since August. Now this may sound counter intuitive, but it is because many areas are more secure now than they have been in a long time. And this, we need to take advantage of this,” he said.
He also said the IEA is facilitating the humanitarian work being done by the UN and its partners and aid agencies, adding that “the pattern usually has been one of cooperation”.
“But of course, the challenges remain very big.” He said there were issues that the UN did not agree with but noted that “there is a space for dialogue”.The post UN Refugee Agency notes engagement with IEA has been ‘positive’ first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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