KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has begun airlifting thousands of tens for people displaced by ongoing conflict and severe drought in Afghanistan, the agency spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Together the drought and ongoing conflict have seen over quarter of a million Afghans being displaced in the country since April, Babar Baloch told reporters in Geneva.
Currently, some 220,000 families are living in makeshift shelters in the western provinces of Herat, Badghis and Ghor. And, with winter approaching, in conditions that are increasingly desperate, he said: “Already we are seeing an increase in child deaths.”
UNHCR’s airlift will comprise 12 flights in total, bringing 15,100 family size tents – with the aim of easing the plight of almost half the displaced population. The tents are being loaded in Pakistan’s Lahore and being shipped in as close as possible to the affected populations via the airport at Herat. ‘There, ground crews have been handing them over to our partners for delivery.’
The tents are part of a larger aid delivery being organized by the Afghan Government and its partners to Herat and Badghis. With many displaced having settled on private land and facing risk of eviction, UNHCR is also supporting the Government’s efforts to make land available.