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UNHCR chief urges engagement with Afghanistan to curb refugee crisis


Kabul: Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) chief, stated that the international community has no choice but to interact with Afghanistan, and added that if interaction does not take place, the Afghan people will suffer more and more people will be forced to leave their homes. According to the statistics provided by this United Nations official, Afghans currently constitute the largest number of immigrants, refugees and internally displaced people in the world.

Grandi Speaking at the gathering of “Afghanistan, Finding a Way Forward” held by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo, Norway, regarding the current situation of immigrants, refugees and internally displaced people, that today, a total of 6.5 million Afghans live as either immigrants, asylum seekers or internally displaced persons.

This United Nations official added that among the one hundred and three million people who are forced to leave their homes in the world today, Afghan citizens constitute the largest number of immigrants and refugees in the world, a number that, according to Grandi, after the Second World War, has been unprecedented.

He added that the citizens of Afghanistan have been forced to leave their homes and lands due to decades of devastating wars, violence, bad governance, poverty and the effects of unfavorable weather.

According to this senior United Nations official, the other 40 million Afghans who still live in Afghanistan and do not want to leave their country needs the attention of the international community.

During his speech, Grandi raised the question of whether the West should interact with the “Taliban” and if so, how?

According to him, after several decades of war and violence in Afghanistan, interaction with the current Afghan rulers has become difficult and sensitive for Western politicians.

“We have no choice but to engage, because the consequence of not engaging is even more unpleasant,” Grundy said.

He added that if there is no interaction with Afghanistan, the people of this country will bear more human suffering and more people will be forced to leave their homes.

This United Nations official raised another question, and that is how to interact with the “Taliban”? He said there was no simple answer given the complex situation, which is “full of terrible contradictions”.

Grandi said that more than one million internally displaced people have returned to their homes, but hundreds of citizens of this country are forced to leave their country every day.

This United Nations official said that the interaction with the Islamic Emirate should be done in such a way as to prevent the displacement of more people and find ways to reduce the pain and suffering of the people who have already been displaced from their homes.

According to him, the presence of humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations agencies and its partners, in the last 18 months has prevented the further deterioration of the situation in this country, including preventing more Afghans from leaving their country.

He added that the return of the migrants depends on the establishment of trust by the Islamic Emirate that they treat all the citizens of the country equally and that women and girls have the right to work and study.

The UN official also stated that 20 years ago when there was an opportunity, the international community failed to help Afghans for what they have long wanted: sustainable livelihoods, practical services for all, basic infrastructure, Police and judiciary with trust and creating a real social contract between the government and its citizens.

Providing such services has become “more difficult now,” Grandi said, stressing that despite all the difficulties, the international community must engage beyond humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

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