In May, I traveled with two of my Refugees International colleagues to Afghanistan. We were there to assess the needs of displaced people and returning refugees in the country. What we found is that Afghan civilians are caught in the middle of an intensifying military campaign against a fractured armed insurgency. Despite the U.S. military’s claims of progress, insurgent attacks are up by 50% over last year, and more than 250,000 people have fled their villages in the past two years. As the U.S. begins to draw down its forces in Afghanistan, Refugees International is calling on the Obama administration to try to minimize further displacement and ensure that the Afghan government takes greater responsibility for the protection of displaced people.
A rising number of displaced people are ending up in urban areas. In Kabul alone, over 30,000 people live in dozens of informal settlements with very poor health and sanitation conditions. They receive little assistance from the Afghan government, and often have to resort to begging simply to feed their families.
We visited one of these settlements, located on the side of a busy Kabul road. And we filmed a short video in the camp to try to give people a sense of what life is like for just a few of those hundreds of thousands of displaced Afghans.
In May, an RI team traveled to Kabul, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif. You can view the video report here.
You can view a copy of Refugees International’s full report here.