Afghanistan Civilians to Bear the Brunt of Escalating Conflict
With the deadline for troop withdrawal looming, conflict continuing, and peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government stalled, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan continues to get worse.
Mercy Corps Deputy Regional Director for Asia, Ram Kishan commented on the situation:
“The security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and as peace talks between the government and the Taliban have stalled, Afghans remain under continuous threat of violence, with many fleeing their homes in search of safety.
“It is also likely that displacement will spill over into neighboring countries if the fighting continues to intensify. With more than 3.5 million refugees worldwide, Afghans remain one of the largest and longest-running displaced populations. An estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021, due to insecurity and violence. If there is an escalation in fighting, many will have no choice but to flee the country.
“The escalating conflict is likely to exacerbate the country's imminent crisis leading the wider civilian population to bear the brunt of current and future violence. Nearly half of the population, some 18.4 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021. More than one third of the people are facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity due to the threat of violence but also the looming drought situation. Nearly half of all children under five are expected to face acute malnutrition in 2021.
“Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for civilians and aid workers. The rising instability and conflict have at times strained humanitarians' ability to respond to existing and new threats. To end the suffering of the Afghan people, all parties must commit to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, support basic human needs and ensure the safety of humanitarian actors.”