There are currently no commercial flights to travel outside of Afghanistan. Most of the land border-crossing points have been closed, except in limited instances for those with visas, passports, or valid travel documents. UNHCR continues to call on neighboring countries to keep their borders open to those seeking safety, particularly as numbers attempting to leave by land borders and those Afghans intending to seek asylum could increase.
UNHCR has, however, observed steady numbers of Afghans moving towards the Pakistan border posts, particularly to the ChamanSpin Boldok crossing point. UNHCR has increased its border monitoring on both sides and is continuously assessing the evolving situation, particularly as it concerns Afghans that may be seeking refuge and safety.
The numbers of Afghans approaching UNHCR or partners offices and/or recorded based on key informant interviews in neighboring countries has increased. The recorded numbers do not purport to represent total border population movements or total new arrivals, which would likely be a significantly higher number.
Based on this data collection, the number of new arrivals to neighboring countries is currently reported at least some 16,500 since the start of this year and this number is increasing. This includes more than 5,300 new Afghan arrivals to Pakistan (largely informed by key informant interviews), the majority of whom are women and children and arrived, as well as some 3,400 in Iran. The vast majority of those interviewed report leaving Afghanistan for security-related reasons.
UNHCR continues to work with authorities in countries neighbouring Afghanistan to plan and prepare for potential future large-scale movement of Afghan refugees, including to safeguard their right to seek asylum. UNHCR, together with Partners, has launched an inter-agency Regional Preparedness and Response Plan for the projected needs of any new Afghan refugees.