“We must therefore be ready to face all eventualities,” insisted the Deputy High Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency.
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The United Nations announced Friday, August 27, to anticipate up to half a million additional Afghan refugees in 2021, in the worst-case scenario, even if for the moment no exodus has been observed. “In terms of numbers, we are preparing for around 500,000 new refugees in the region”said Kelly Clements, Deputy High Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), on the occasion of the presentation of the Regional Preparedness and Response Plan for Afghan Refugees.
“Remember that more than 2.2 million Afghans are already hosted by Iran and Pakistan, and that flight is sometimes not only the last resort, but also the only option people have to survive and enjoy the most fundamental human rights “, she added. Iran and Pakistan also host another three million Afghans with various statuses, many of them undocumented, according to UNHCR.
“Although we have not seen any significant departures of Afghans at this point, the situation in Afghanistan has evolved faster than anyone expected. So we must be prepared for any eventuality.”, she insisted. In addition, more than 558,000 Afghans have been forced to move inside Afghanistan this year, joining the estimated 2.9 million Afghans who were already internally displaced by the end of 2020, according to the report. UNHCR.