UN official to discuss Afghan refugee crisis with Taliban

Kabul: A visiting UN official will meet leaders of the Taliban-led government and discuss ways to resolve the Afghan refugee crisis and establish grounds for their return.

Upon her arrival in Kabul on Sunday, Kelly T. Clements, Deputy High Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), tweeted: “In Afghanistan, humanitarian needs are immense, with millions of Afghans displaced. I’m in the country to advocate for support, including for those returning home, and the need to uphold their rights, especially of women and children and their ability to participate in public life.”

In a separate statement, she said: “We will be talking over the course of the next days with the interim authorities about how we can support the needs of the Afghan people and how we can find solutions for those that are outside the country that want to come home and want to be able to rebuild their lives in peace and have an Afghanistan that is inclusive of all.”

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Afghanistan has been forgotten, TOLO News quoted the UN official as saying.

“This is a very important moment for this country and the people of Afghanistan, it is a time where the world’s attention has turned to other situations of displacement, other war, other conflicts,” she added.

According to the UNHCR, Afghan refugees are the third-largest displaced population in the world, following Syrian refugees and displaced Venezuelans.

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

After the Taliban took over in August last year, 667,900 Afghans were internally displaced, which added to the already 3.5 million internally displaced civilians at the end of 2020.

Eighty per cent of the newly displaced Afghans are women and children.

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