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“Far greater humanitarian crisis” looms in Afghanistan – UNHCR

FILE PHOTO: From The Archives: Twenty years in Afghanistan
FILE PHOTO: An internally displaced Afghan girl carries a child near their shelter at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

August 30, 2021

GENEVA (Reuters) – As evacuations from Kabul wind down in coming days, “a larger crisis is just beginning” in Afghanistan and for its 39 million people, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Monday, appealing for support.

Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, whose agency said last Friday that up to 500,000 Afghans could flee by year-end, reiterated a call for borders to remain open and for more countries to share “this humanitarian responsibility” with Iran and Pakistan which already host 2.2 million Afghans.

“The airlifts out of Kabul will end in a matter of days, and the tragedy that has unfolded will no longer be as visible. But it will still be a daily reality for millions of Afghans. We must not turn away. A far greater humanitarian crisis is just beginning,” Grandi said in a statement.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)

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