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Thousands of people a day arriving in Afghanistan with nothing

Thousands of people a day are arriving in Afghanistan without shelter, food or water and are facing an uncertain future after being told to leave Pakistan.

Islamic Relief teams in Afghanistan are now providing new arrivals there with aid such as clean drinking water, cash, emergency latrines and basic healthcare. Today (3rd November) the team provided medical treatment to 150 women, men and children. Local Afghan communities are also providing the new arrivals with food, blankets and other support.

In mid-September the government of Pakistan announced that undocumented foreigners must leave the country or face deportation – a decision expected to impact around 1.7 million of the 4.4 million Afghan refugees in the country. Since then, more than 120,000 Afghans have crossed from Pakistan into Afghanistan – and this is now speeding up, with up to 12,000 people a day now crossing the border.

The people affected include children who were born in Pakistan and have never been to Afghanistan, while some others no longer have close family in Afghanistan or have not been there for many years.

People are undergoing an extremely tough journey from all over Pakistan and many are arriving in Afghanistan in terrible conditions, without anywhere to live and without food, money, water and sanitation facilities. With winter approaching, they will soon be exposed to freezing sub-zero temperatures.

An influx of up to 1.7 million people will put huge strain on Afghanistan, which is already suffering a major humanitarian crisis with extremely high levels of hunger, poverty, unemployment and malnutrition. More than 29 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid, yet international funding for the crisis is already drying up. Islamic Relief has been calling on international donors to step up support for vulnerable people in Afghanistan and the regional refugee crisis.

The vast majority of Afghan refugees are hosted by neighbouring countries, particularly Pakistan and Iran. The UN-led response plan to support Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries has only 15% of the funding it needs, while the response plan for the crisis inside Afghanistan is only 36% funded.

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