Displacement, humanitarian needs surging inside Afghanistan: UN agency

"The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is intensifying humanitarian needs and increasing displacement risks both inside the country, as well as across borders to countries in the region", according to a statement issued by Ugochi Daniels.
Afghan people sit on the ground in front of a bakery waiting to receive bread in Kabul (Reuters)
Afghan people sit on the ground in front of a bakery waiting to receive bread in Kabul (Reuters)

Geneva

Conflict last year had forced more than 700,000 Afghans to leave their homes and added to the 5.5 million people already displaced over past years, the UN migration agency said on Tuesday. 
"The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is intensifying humanitarian needs and increasing displacement risks both inside the country, as well as across borders to countries in the region", according to a statement issued by Ugochi Daniels, the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Deputy Director-General for Operations. 
Afghans, especially women and girls, are facing increasing vulnerabilities and protection risks, the UN agency said.
The Taliban ruled the country from the late 1990s to 2001. They again regained control after international troops withdrew in August and the Afghan Government collapsed. 
As the country teeters on the brink of systemic collapse, more than half the Afghan population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. "Nearly all Afghans have now plunged into poverty", Daniels said. 
IOM explained that last year, Afghans increasingly crossed the border into Iran and Pakistan, describing it as a trend that is likely to continue in the coming months. 
The UN agency warned that as needs continue to grow, failure to sustain and improve access to essential services, restore livelihoods, and effectively address the vulnerabilities of populations affected by the crisis, will cause a surge in displacement and migration.

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