Embassy Diary

Refugees’ Santa- UNHCR

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The exultation and ecstasy of the Christmas festivity are gripping across the globe. This festival commemorates the birth anniversary of the apostle of peace Jesus Christ. Even as the devotees and revelers mark the occasion with various rituals and customary pleasantries the world still simmers with violence or war raging in any part of the planet. The unprecedented challenges have brought an influx of thousands of refugees who have poured into various countries. But amidst this perplexing situation, the ray of hope for thousands of refugees is the international humanitarian support for them and of course, the untiring effort of the United Nations Human Rights Commission which aims to bring smiles to these faces despite a bleak situation. The situation of Afghan refugees spread across the globe remains very deplorable. However, the UNHCR is ensuring to bring relief to the Afghan refugees at a brisk pace overcoming the various dangerous and treacherous situations.

Over half a million people have been internally displaced in 2021 alone – and the number of people forced to flee continues to rise. Afghanistan has witnessed the vicious circle of war and poverty for the last 40 years which has now ruined the country. Afghanistan which was once a flourishing country is now on the verge of catastrophe.

“Of the 665,000 Afghans who have been newly displaced inside the country in 2021, 80% of whom are women and children. Families speak of having had to flee at a moment’s notice, even when faced with the risk of improvised explosive devices and attacks by armed groups as they fled. This year has seen the highest number of conflict-related casualties on record,” says the UNHCR.

The role of UNHCR in combating the situation

Providing relief to refugees remains a humungous task but the UNHCR has taken many steps to provide food, water, and core relief items, both within Afghanistan and in neighboring countries.

“We have continued to carry out protection activities, including border monitoring, case management, and psychosocial support. UNHCR has also continued its regular community programming in Afghanistan, including the building of schools and other key infrastructure providing healthcare, water, and energy. These have reached more than 1.3 million people this year,” it says.

Expecting a very harsh winter where the temperature plummets below -12 degrees centigrade UNHCR is enabling refugees to survive in the make-shit camps. It is providing core assistance items during winter which include blankets, solar lanterns, tent insulation kits.

“Preventing the spread of COVID-19 also remains a priority. To help reduce the risk as much as possible, UNHCR is providing buckets and jerry cans in its relief kits to displaced families. These supplies are especially important in areas where access to clean water is difficult. UNHCR has also established hand-washing stations and distributed hygiene kits including soap and face masks. In addition, we are providing emergency cash support to help displaced families mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic,” it adds further.

UNHCR has undertaken protection monitoring covering 32 provinces in 2021 and as part of the broader UN effort, helped assess the needs of almost 400,000 internally displaced people since the start of the year.

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