Over 7,000 war-displaced people stream to Kandahar City
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): More than 7,000 families have been displaced to southern Kandahar province as result of escalating clashes in the southern region.
The families have been displaced from Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul and five districts of Kandahar to the capital of the province.
Hundreds of families have already received aid. More affected households would receive assistance after an ongoing survey is completed.
Natural Disaster Management Authority head, Massoud Ahmad Pashtun, told Pajhwok Afghan News 5,000 families from Uruzgan, 1,300 families from Helmand, 200 families from Zabul and 970 families from five districts of Kandahar had streamed to Kandahar City.
The families displaced inside the province belong to Shah Walikot, Mianshin, Ghorak, Khakrez and Maroof districts, where the security situation has recently deteriorated.
The refugee registration process was underway and so far 1,226 families had received aid, Pashtun said, voicing concern at lack of shelter for refugees in Kandahar City ahead of winter.
“There is no a specific place or camp for refugees to live in Kandahar; most of them live in rented houses or with their relatives,” he said.
He said 30 families that recently arrived at midnight from Helmand in Kandahar lived in the tribal affairs department’s guesthouse for 48 hours. Unfortunately, such shelters are temporary.
The national traders recently promised to provide water and food items for the war-hit families, he said, adding the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) had pledged 200 blankets for the displaced.
The International Organization for Migration, Save the Children and the World Food Program had also pledged providing aid to 10,000 refugees in Kandahar, Pashtun added. The Presidential Palace has been asked to allocate 15,000 afghanis to each displaced family.
He added 5,000 afghanis should be paid to each of the affected families in repatriation cost.
Samim Khpalwak, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed around 7,000 refugees had arrived in the provincial capital.The registration process was underway, with the governor’s house trying to provide assistance to 1,000 families every week, he said.
Khpalwak added hundreds of families had so far received food aid from national traders, charity organisations and government organs.However, the displaced families say they have suffered huge losses and want to go back to their regions as soon as possible.
Nasrullah, one of the displaced people from Helmand, said they had sought shelter in Kandahar City due to heavy clashes in his province.
“I have to support a nine-member family. I worked on my farms in my village and earned enough for my children. But now we are not able to pay the living cost for even a single day here,” he commented, urging the government to ensure security in their area.
Jan Mohammad, a displaced man from Tirinkot, the capital of Uruzgan, complained about multiple problems. He said they were forced by war to come to Kandahar City.
“People here in Kandahar have increased the rent of houses for refugees instead of showing them mercy,” he remarked.A house that was rented for 5,000 afghanis in the past now accounts for 10,000 afghanis.
Mohammad also asked the government to take steps improve the security situation in their area and thereby enable the displaced families to return to their homes.
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