Emergency aid to displaced families


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In the first two weeks of October alone, UNHCR assisted more than 60,000 people by providing emergency shelter, blankets, solar panels and cash assistance to the most vulnerable. In total, our emergency aid has reached nearly half a million displaced people so far this year.

As the situation stabilized, 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 ended.

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Displaced people in Afghanistan are returning home voluntarily, with the support of UNHCR. © Tony Esseh / UNHCR

emergency bridges

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. It is a crucial site for assistance to the Afghan people.

These trips are made possible through cooperation between UNHCR and our partner UPS. It includes shelter materials, cooking utensils and plastic sheeting to help more than 125,000 displaced people. Timing is crucial in preparing for winter.

For example, we offer 23 m² “family tents” as temporary emergency shelters, designed by accommodation professionals. The tent can withstand winds of up to 75 km / h and provides protection against rain and snow.

UNHCR is organizing more air shipments of humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan. In addition to providing emergency assistance to the homeless, we continue to work in communities where former refugees have returned by investing in infrastructure, including education, health care, livelihoods and shelters.

On October 15, a UNHCR airlift carrying humanitarian aid to Afghanistan landed in Tarmiz, Uzbekistan, to be trucked to Afghanistan. © Jelena Sim / UNHCR

Pakistan facilitates traffic at border crossings

UNHCR welcomes the recent announcement by the Pakistani authorities to facilitate the movement of goods and people through 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 measures help reduce fears and risks of people being pushed into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, sometimes with fatal consequences.

90% of Afghan refugees are in Iran and Pakistan

Iran and Pakistan together host nearly 90 percent of all Afghan refugees in the world, and have done so for more than four decades. There is an urgent need for increased international support to enable the protection of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran. UNHCR calls on Afghanistan’s neighbors to continue expanding protection facilities for those seeking safety.

We urge the international community to increase financial contributions to Afghan fugitives. They desperately need support to survive the coming winter.

Helping fleeing Afghans

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