Iran + 2 more

Afghanistan situation: Emergency preparedness and response in Iran, 30 January 2022

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

701,849 people have been internally displaced in Afghanistan since the start of 2021, of which 21% are women and 59% are children.

According to evolving estimates by the Government of Iran, approx. 500,000 Afghans have arrived in Iran in 2021.

Borders remain officially closed for asylum-seekers. The requirements of valid visas and passports are still being strictly applied and tighter border control measures are being enforced at unofficial border crossing points. 31,415 Afghans who arrived in Iran from 1 January 2021 to 23 January 2022 have approached UNHCR requesting assistance and protection.

UNHCR has received unofficial reports of an increase in the number of new arrivals being arrested by the authorities and handed over to provincial government authorities in Sistan & Baluchestan.

POLITICAL, SECURITY & HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN

▪ On 26 January 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that Afghanistan was ‘hanging by a thread’ six months after the Taliban takeover and the world cannot abandon the country now – for the sake of its people and overall global security. He urged nations to significantly boost humanitarian aid as the country’s economy is collapsing amid another brutal winter, and daily life has become “a frozen hell” for millions of Afghans (UN News). He also urged countries to suspend rules and conditions that, since the Taliban took control last August, have frozen nearly USD 9 billion in central bank assets and starved both the Afghan economy and lifesaving humanitarian operations of muchneeded funds.

▪ On 30 January 2022, a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the UN Security Council alleged that the Taliban and its allies have killed more than 100 former Afghan government members, security personnel and people who worked with international forces (Link) despite previous announcements of general amnesties, with “more than two-thirds” of the victims killed extrajudicially. The report also describes severe curtailing of human rights in Afghanistan, such as temporary arrests, beatings, threats of intimidation, and the killing of journalists, and the worsening living conditions for Afghanistan’s 39 million people despite an end of combat since August.

▪ According to the Hunger Hotspots Report published on the 26 January 2022 by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Afghanistan is one of 20 hunger hotspots where parts of the population are likely to face a significant deterioration of acute food insecurity in the coming months. The report highlighted a serious risk that part of the population will face starvation and death if the crisis is not contained. There are already 22.8 million Afghans facing acute food insecurity. By March, 8.7 million of those are expected to slide into critical levels of food insecurity, a record high for the country.

▪ On 28 January 2022, in a media interview, the head of the UN's World Food Program David Beasley called the situation in Afghanistan 'horrific' and 'catastrophic' (DW). He described the struggle of Afghans to cover their basic needs, highlighting that 23 million people in the country "are knocking on starvation's door". He also noted a woman he met in Afghanistan who had been forced to sell her daughter to another family in the hope that they could better feed her.