Afghanistan Nearing Humanitarian Crisis at 'Unprecedented' Pace, Charity Says
© Flickr / ResoluteSupportMediaVillage girls wait as humanitarians unload a shipment of food, clothing and supplies in western Afghanistan.
© Flickr / ResoluteSupportMedia
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A surge in violence across Afghanistan in recent weeks has taken aid workers by surprise as the country speeds toward the brink of a major humanitarian crisis, the Norwegian Refugee Council's Afghan director said Friday.
"We are bracing ourselves for a major humanitarian crisis. Terrified families have been fleeing into Kabul in the past days. Camps are overcrowded... We fear this situation is being replicated across the country at an unprecedented pace," Tracey Van Heerden said.
Fighting between the Taliban* and Afghan security forces has affected most of the Oslo-based charity's operations, including critical aid deliveries to over 900,000 Afghans, NRC official said.
"While Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most dangerous countries for us to operate in, it is more important than ever that aid agencies can reach communities as the conflict escalates," Van Heerden added.
A total 3.5 million people have been displaced in Afghanistan, according to UN figures, 390,000 of them since the start of the year, although actual figures could be far greater. Many territories where the council operates have changed hands or remain contested, forcing those displaced to flee again.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia.