The refugee and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and Ethiopia was at the center of intense debate at this week’s UN refugee conference.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the week-long talks were constructive. He said there was a general agreement on the need for urgent, flexible and unconditional assistance to millions of internally displaced Afghans through humanitarian agencies.
He said it was possible, but food, shelter and other necessary supplies should be provided quickly before the onset of winter. He said the Taliban would not interfere in these operations.
Grandi noted that Afghan society has only just begun to function since the Taliban took over. He warned that this could lead to a greater humanitarian crisis unless the international community takes action to prevent a complete collapse of the country’s services, banking and economic systems.
“It’s very difficult because most of the work in this economy in Afghanistan works for international cooperation, which is now closed or suspended,” he said. Can we prevent a major humanitarian crisis? ”
Ethiopia needs millions
Grandi said Ethiopia was the second crisis that received much attention at the conference. He said the delegates expressed deep concern over the recent expulsion of senior UN officials from the country by the Ethiopian government. He said delegates were concerned about the limited ability to provide assistance to the millions of civilians trapped in the Tigers and the spread of conflict to other parts of northern Ethiopia.
“And of course, the application is always the same,” he said. “Abandon this useless and destructive approach, which is a military approach, and go for a negotiation process. That is the only way to stop the growth of humanitarian needs in the country.”
The United Nations reports that about 5.2 million people in Tigra, or 0% of its population, need assistance.
Although most of the attention was focused on Afghanistan and Ethiopia, Grandi said he called on states at the meeting not to forget the other refugee crises, which exist in every region of the world. These include the Rohingya in Southeast Asia, the Sahel region of West Africa, Syria in the Middle East, and Venezuela in Central America.