Thousands of Afghan refugees are arriving in Iran every day, according to a top aid official

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Thousands of Afghan refugees escaping the Taliban are crossing the border into Iran daily. The Norwegian Refugee Council's secretary-general, Jan Egeland, appeals to the international community for assistance with food and shelter.

Egeland is currently in Tehran following a visit to Iran's Kerman area near the Afghan border. In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Egeland stated that many of the refugees "They have called their relatives to inform them that they are on their way to Iran and that many wish to continue on to Europe, which means that Europe should be less occupied by a few thousand [refugees] on the Polish-Belorussian border. Today, more people entered Iran than are now on the border."

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, 300,000 people have fled Afghanistan to Iran since the Taliban assumed control in August. "There is no economy, there is very little assistance, and there is too little shelter and food for millions and millions in need," Egeland stated. Once winter arrives and the conditions become "horrific," Egeland expects hundreds of thousands more to flee Afghanistan to Iran, who shares three legal border crossings with Afghanistan.

Since 1979, when Soviet troops seized Afghanistan, refugees from Afghanistan have been arriving in Iran. Iran is projected to have 800,000 registered Afghan refugees and another 3 million undocumented. Iran has been assisting the new immigrants, Egeland told AP, but additional assistance is needed to help through the winter months. "How can you expect Iran to shoulder this responsibility on their own?" As Egeland stated. "What Europe should do is invest in hope, possibility, opportunity inside Afghanistan and in the neighboring countries if they want to avoid people wandering towards Europe."

Publish : 2021-11-11 11:11:00

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