Geneva, Aug 30 (EFE).- A larger calamity awaits Afghanistan’s 39 million inhabitants after Kabul airlift evacuations end on August 31, the United Nations warned Monday.
“When the airlift and the media frenzy are over, the overwhelming majority of Afghans, some 39 million, will remain inside Afghanistan,” the UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said. “They need us – governments, humanitarians, ordinary citizens – to stay with them and stay the course.”
Grandi added the world’s focus has been too narrow, concentrating only on the evacuation effort, which “undoubtedly saved tens of thousands of lives, and these efforts are praiseworthy.”
In Afghanistan, where the Taliban forces have taken over earlier this month, 3.5 million people are internally displaced by violence. Over half a million of them have been forced out of their homes since the start of this year.
Some 2.3 million Afghans have taken refuge in neighboring Pakistan and Iran, which have opened their doors for Afghans fleeing their country’s conflict and violence for the past 40 years.
“Those who scrambled for a place on the evacuation flights out of Kabul airport are the same as those who may approach our borders in the next few weeks and months,” Grandi explained.
“We have shown sympathy and solidarity for Afghans over the past few days. Let us keep on doing so,” he concluded.EFE