Over 736,800 persons have been internally displaced in Afghanistan since the start of 2021, of which 20% are women and 60% are children. Approximately 170,000 have now returned to their previous places of residence, as the security situation has relatively stabilized across the country.
According to evolving estimates by the Government of Iran, approx. 500,000 Afghans have arrived in Iran in 2021. Some 34,398 Afghans, who arrived in Iran from 1 January 2021 to 23 March 2022 have approached UNHCR requesting assistance and protection.
100 families have been relocated from Fariman to Torbat-e-Jam settlement, who are accommodated in empty existing housing units.
POLITICAL, SECURITY & HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN
▪ In view of the humanitarian situation, particularly for displaced people, the High Commissioner for Refugees undertook a visit to Afghanistan in the middle of March – his second since August 2021 – appealing for robust assistance to address the country’s humanitarian needs and those of Afghan refugees abroad. During the visit, he met with the interim Afghan government as well as UN and NGO workers who continue to provide vital assistance. During his meetings, the High Commissioner iterated that UNHCR’s commitment to stay and deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan is unwavering.
▪ On 17 March, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations special political mission in Afghanistan for one year until 17 March 2023, shifting its priority tasks to better align with the evolving reality on the ground. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), will further focus on several key activities, including coordinating the provision of humanitarian assistance and the delivery of basic human needs; providing outreach and good offices for dialogue between Afghan stakeholders and the international community; and promoting good governance and the rule of law.
▪ The Taliban regime issued a decree banning female students above grade six from attending classes. The girls were told to stay home until the Islamic Emirate announces its next decision. The group blamed a lack of teachers on the closures and said they first needed to create an appropriate environment for girls to study and decide on appropriate uniforms. Expressing concern at the Taliban's decision to ban girls' education in Afghanistan, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that this is an unjustifiable violation of equal rights, and it will damage the entire country. urged the Taliban de facto authorities to open schools for all students without any further delay.
▪ On 30 March, China held two multinational meetings in the ancient town of Tunxi to discuss the economic and humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan, making a diplomatic push for the country’s stability and development under the Taliban. Afghan acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi attended the two-day meeting where foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours – Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were also present.
▪ On 31 March, a High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan, co-hosted by the United Nations and the Governments of Germany, Qatar and the United Kingdom, brought together representatives of Member States, international organisations, UN Agencies, non-governmental organisations and civil society to raise funding to meet the humanitarian needs of Afghans. A total of 41 donor countries pledged more than $2.44 billion toward the United Nations’ $4.4 billion appeal for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.