Situation in Afghanistan: Emergency Preparedness and Response in Iran, October 19, 2021 – Iran, Islamic Republic

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

In 2021, 677,832 people were internally displaced in Afghanistan.

Afghans continue to enter Iran irregularly across unofficial borders. UNHCR is aware of 19,641 Afghans who arrived in Iran between January 1 and October 15. The numbers are very likely much higher. 71% of those interviewed by the UNHCR said they had used smugglers to get into Iran.

The official borders between Afghanistan and Iran remain closed to asylum seekers. UNHCR works with the government to open borders and enable people in need of international protection to receive it.

POLITICAL & SECURITY SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN

▪ UNHCR’s emergency aid in Afghanistan will continue. In the past two weeks, UNHCR has provided around 100,000 people across Afghanistan with shelters, blankets, solar panels and cash for the most vulnerable. So far this year we have reached more than half a million displaced people with help. In addition, on October 15, the first of three planned aid flights by the UNHCR landed in Uzbekistan with trucks for tens of thousands of internally displaced persons in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. The flight carried 32 tons of relief supplies from the UNHCR warehouse in Dubai – mainly accommodation, kitchen sets and plastic sheeting.

▪ The general security situation in the country remains relatively calm, although isolated but violent incidents continue to claim civilians. On October 15, suicide bombers attacked a mosque in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, killing dozens of people and injuring dozens more. The Islamic State of Khorasan, also known as ISIS-K and ISKP, has accepted responsibility. These attacks can be seen as a demonstration of the organization’s newly established reach as it embarks on a new campaign of violence against the Afghan people and the new Taliban government.

▪ For the Shiite minority and many of the Hazaras in Afghanistan, the resurgent ISKP has ushered in another era of insecurity. Earlier this month, Amnesty International announced that the Taliban had illegally killed 13 Hazaras, including a 17-year-old girl, adding to fears of ethnic and religious minorities. On October 16, it was reported that large groups of the Hazara ethnic group had been ordered by the Taliban to evacuate their homes. Most evictions take place in remote and rural areas of the country. It is estimated that between 400 and 2,000 families from 15 villages in Daikundi Province in central Afghanistan have been displaced. Among the newcomers to Iran, 40% are Hazaras; UNHCR suspects that the number of Hazaras crossing into Iran is likely to increase in the face of these recent attacks.


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