November 30, 2021

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Afghan refugees | UN official says Canada needs to do more

(Ottawa) If Canada and its international partners are to help Afghanistan, which is vulnerable to Taliban-controlled territory, a lot more needs to be done to support neighboring Afghanistan, a UN official has said.


Mike Blanchfield
Canadian Press

Kelly Clements, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told the Canadian Press this week that there were no funds to deal with the arrival of Afghans trying to leave the country from Iran and Pakistan. The Taliban regained power in mid-August.

Many former artists and their families are facing retaliation for the Taliban’s support for the NATO military mission in which Canada, the United States and many other countries have participated for twenty years.

Other vulnerable Afghans, especially women, face a grim future under Taliban rule and hope to leave the country. While waiting to flee, the threatened Afghans are hiding in “safe havens” in their country.

Canada has agreed to resettle 40,000 Afghans, but NGOs say funds are running out to maintain these “safe havens” in Afghanistan, which could endanger up to 1,700 people.

MMe Clements did not comment on the shelters, but acknowledged that Canada’s commitment to resettle Afghans was setting a solid precedent internationally. However, he believes much more needs to be done to strengthen the capabilities of neighboring Iran and Pakistan to accommodate those who manage to escape the Taliban.

“Boundaries are exceptionally tight,” Ms.Me Clements.

Support Iran and Pakistan

He said that even before the Taliban took over, Pakistan had only half the funds needed to support refugees, while Iran received only a quarter. “They really feel that the international community is not giving them enough support.”

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working hard to help displaced people in Afghanistan as a record number of people fled the countryside to cities as the Taliban advanced towards victory in the recent summer.

The eviction created an unprecedented food crisis. Other UN agencies predicted earlier this week that more than half of Afghanistan’s population – more than 22 million – would face severe famine in the coming months.

“People can have all sorts of reasons to leave. But we try to help them where they are,” he saidMe Clements. “We are in all provinces [afghane] And in two-thirds of the districts, there are many partners we work with. ”

Despite the Taliban’s takeover, UNHCR has been able to maintain access to vulnerable people, he said. “We have a long history of operational and local support in areas traditionally controlled by the Taliban. So this pledge is not new.”

Fugitives face tightly restricted border registrations, where documents, visas, passports and other travel documents are required, but are often in short supply. “We want our neighbors to allow these people to seek security in their own country,” he said.

Canada has experience

Canada’s commitment to resettle Afghans already seems to be focusing more on those abroad. ButMe This commitment is greatly appreciated internationally, says Clements. “We have seen other countries raise their hands, and I think this is due to the leadership of Canada.”

Prior to the current crisis in Afghanistan, the UN It ranks third in the number of refugees, at 2.6 million, followed by Venezuela at 4 million and Syria at 6.7 million.

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MMe Clements hopes that Canada’s new resettlement road map will help him better in welcoming Afghans.

He argues that social sponsorships and other UN-funded programs have shown “good success in providing refugees with the tools and support they need to get to work, and to quickly support their families and return them to the world.” Canada and Community. ”