Iran + 1 more

Afghanistan situation: Emergency preparedness and response in Iran, 05 October 2021

Situation Report
Originally published
View original



665,182 people have been internally displaced in Afghanistan since the start of 2021, of which 80% are women and children. A total of 33 out of 34 provinces had recorded some level of forced displacement.

Afghans continue to make their way to Iran in an irregular manner through unofficial border points. UNHCR is aware of 18,697 Afghans who arrived in Iran from 1 January until 2 October. The numbers are very likely much higher.

Official borders between Afghanistan and Iran remain closed for asylum seekers. In various statements to the media and during the 2021 UNHCR Executive Committee Session, Iran noted that it had limited capacity to cope with the number of new Afghan arrivals.


  • On 29 September, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and the Heads of ICRC, OCHA, UNICEF, and WHO in Afghanistan issued a Joint Statement on the alarming situation facing people requiring healthcare in Afghanistan and the dire human consequences if the healthcare system is allowed to collapse. According to the statement, the organizations are working to “establish mechanisms that would allow funding to directly support health facilities and life-saving health responses across Afghanistan.”

  • The security situation in Afghanistan remains highly volatile. On 3 October, several people, Taliban members and civilians, were killed in attacks in Kabul – the deadliest since US withdrawal. So far, no group has claimed the bombings; however, Islamic State (IS) militants have stepped up attacks against the Taliban since their mid-August takeover, including several bombings in the eastern city of Jalalabad, signalling a widening conflict between the two groups.

  • The situation for women and girls continues to be extremely worrying:

    • According to media reports in Afghanistan, women-owned businesses have remained closed since the Taliban takeover, leading many women who were the head and/or main breadwinners of their households to sell their assets and businesses at below-market prices. UNHCR fears this will lead to more women and children having to resort to negative coping mechanisms in order to survive.
    • More than 220 female Afghan judges are reportedly in hiding due to fear of retribution under Taliban rule, following the release of thousands of convicted criminals from prison. Six female judges have received death threats from members of the Taliban whom they previously committed to prison.
    • A group of female teachers in Kabul protested against the closure of schools and universities for female students in the country. Public universities are said to soon reopen in Afghanistan after recruitment of teachers is completed, as stated by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
  • In a recent meeting of the global Core Group of the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), which is chaired by the European Union (EU) and UNHCR, Member States and partners affirmed their commitment to scale-up international humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons in Afghanistan in 2021, and for refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries. The Core Group reiterated its support for UNHCR’s advisory urging all states to refrain from returning Afghans to their country.