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IDPs in the north in need of emergency help

IDPs in the north in need of emergency help

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Jan 16, 2020 - 18:16

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Hundreds of families displaced by war in northern provinces of the country to Balkh province are in need of urgent assistance.

These families say they have been in huge trouble due to declined work opportunities in cold winter. They cannot afford to buy fuel.

The IDPs say they would face serious issues and even death if the government and aid organizations do not help them.

Balkh provincial council also says the displaced families are in need of urgent help.

Balkh refugees and repatriation officials say around 20,000 families who have been displaced by war currently live in Mazar-i-Sharif city.

The luckier of these families is one who lives in one or two muddy-room homes because most of these families live in tents despite biting weather.

Sabri, 45, a resident of Dara-i-Suf district of Samangan province, said clashes between Afghan forces and Talibaninfo-icon gunmen forced her and her family to leave their home a year ago.

She said their area was a battle ground and they had to travel somewhere safe.

She said they left all their belongings in their home and currently they led a painful life in Mazar-i-Sharif city.

 “Our life is worse since last week due to cold, one time meal a day is enough for us, but we cannot live in cold. We cannot sleep the whole night due to cold,” she said. She asked the government and charity organizations to help them.

Payki is another woman who was displaced from Alamkhel area of Balkh province to Mazar-i-Sharif. She said they were forced by continuous war to leave their area.

She said men of her family were jobless as work opportunities declined with the arrival of winter.

She said only his elder son from her 12-member family worked but for him too finding work for a day was a blessing. Payki said their children fell ill due to cold and they had no money to treat them.

She asked the government to assist them in providing them shelter and some food.

Mohammad Sherin, talking on behalf of IDPs in Nawabad area of Mazar-i-Sharif city, said the families from their areas were in bad situation.

Most of these families are from Sar-i-Pul, Jawzjan, Faryab and Samangan provinces, he said.

He said only families who had relatives in government could get assistance in relief programs.

 “There are around 1,000 IDPs registered with me and they are in serious need of winter help, but no one has helped them so far,” he said.

He added a tragedy would occur if the government provided no urgent assistance to these families, particularly minors.

Afzal Hadid, provincial council head of Balkh, said most of the IDPs lived in tents in cold weather and they were affected by diseases.

The number of IDPs is too high and provincial refugee and repatriation department is unable to provide assistance to them alone, he said.

He said the government should first provide warm clothes to the displaced families. He also asked Balkh refugee and repatriation department to respond to problems of the affected families.

The Balkh refugee and repatriation department says around 20,000 IDPs from northern provinces of the country are living in Mazar-i-Sharif

He said the families were forced by war and insecurity to leave their homes. His department provided assistance to these families over times.

A new program of aid distribution would start soon and it would cover 400 families in serious need of help, he said, adding that around 3,000 families would get winter help in near future.

He said the department was unable to respond to all refugees as their number was too high.

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