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Displacement and migration take toll on half of population

AT-KABUL: About half of Afghanistan’s population has been affected by forced internal displacements and migrations, according to ministry of migration and repatriation.

The ministry says that some three million people are internally displaced due to war and security problems in the remote areas.

It said Tuesday that 5.5 million Afghans are migrants abroad, 800,000 of whom fled the country in the past five years.

 Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, minister of migrants and repatriates, said that the migrants’ problems were in the government’s priorities.

“Seven million migrants had returned home in the past 17 years. Now, 5.5 million migrants are in the foreign countries, while three million others are internally displaced. This number is about half of the population. The government should be fully prepared to solve their problems,” Balkhi said.

More than 4,000 people have returned from Turkey since the beginning of the current Afghan year (March 21st), according to the ministry data. The ministry said that a delegation from Turkey would visit Afghanistan to share opinions of the Afghan migrants there with Kabul.

Insecurity, joblessness and poverty are figured as main reasons of Afghans migrating to abroad or displace inside the country.

Tens of people leave the country on daily basis despite the government says it takes migrants’ problems in priority.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says taking care of the migrants’ problems was a responsibility for the government and international organizations.

“As an organization working for migrants, the IOM is responsible to manage migrants’ problems. Our information about their reintegration helps us to manage the problems,” said head of the IOM office in Kabul.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had earlier called Afghanistan the second country in the world with most displaced people.

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