Photo: UNHCR

UNHCR appeals for $613 million to support Afghan refugees in the region

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, as part of its “Regional Refugee Response Plan for the Afghanistan Situation 2023”, has called for $613 million to support refugees from Afghanistan sheltering in Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

UNHCR spokesperson, Shabia Mantoo, told reporters in a press briefing in Geneva, that an estimated 8.2 million refugees, including 2 million registered, from Afghanistan were living in the country’s neighbours, majority in Iran and Pakistan. An estimated 1.6 million people had fled Afghanistan since the Taliban’s return to power, UNHCR said. 

| Taliban says 80 Afghans drowned off the coast of Italy
| Bodies of 18 Afghans found in an abandoned truck in Bulgaria 

Appealing for international support, UNHCR said: 

“The UN and its partners are appealing to the international community not to forget or neglect the people of Afghanistan. Humanitarian partners remain on the ground, and they are delivering assistance and protection inside Afghanistan and in the region, despite the challenges.

“Millions of Afghans are looking to the international community for support, and to their country’s interim leaders for peace, security, and opportunity. Financial support remains critical to stave off wide-spread hunger, disease, malnutrition and, ultimately, death.”

UNHCR further added that it only received 52 per cent of the $623 million it had appealed for in 2022. Adding that “Despite the shortfall, UNHCR and partners have been able to support millions of Afghans and their hosts in neighbouring countries.”