Up to 1,800 families are estimated to have been displaced following the recent fighting between Taliban and government forces in Afghanistan’s Faryab province.
“Thousands of civilians have been forced to suddenly flee their homes due to fighting in Faryab Province, and they urgently need humanitarian assistance in this bitter winter,” said Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Country Director in Afghanistan, Kate O'Rourke on 5 January.
NRC has sent an emergency response team to Maimana city to assess the situation of the newly displaced families and is working together with other organisations and authorities to drive an emergency response.
“They say they need food, blankets, cooking materials, a place to stay and cash to pay the rent, they basically lack everything they need to continue a normal life,” says NRC’s Emergency team leader in Faryab, Muhammad Babur. He has met with families who have been displaced from Almar District to Maimana city.
NRC’s staff have as well visited homes in Almar centre, hosting more than 10 newly displaced families from nearby villages. Most of the internally displaced are farmers who would like to return to their homes, but the situation remains insecure.
Eight year old Masooda and her family were displaced from their village in Almar district in Faryab.
They found shelter in a small room on the outskirts of Maimana, and are now facing a harsh winter.
“When NRC has assessed the situation of the internally displaced, we will coordinate with other humanitarian agencies in the province and make sure the internally displaced are provided with the things they need to cover their basic needs,” says NRC's Muhammad Babur.
Adila, 8, is warming herself in the kitchen on a chilly afternoon in Maimana city.
Six months ago, the school she used to go to in her home village in Almar district of Faryab province closed due to insecurity. Five days ago, she fled her home together with her family due to heavy fighting in the area. Now they are stuck on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Maimana without work, money or protection from the winter cold.
From left to right: Hawa, 5, Setara, 7, and Khatima are standing outside their room donated by their relatives in Maimana city. Five days ago, their family had to flee their home in Qaratana village in Almar, after a nearby village fell to the Taliban. The family fled before the fighting started in their village.
Norwegian Refugee Council’s Emergency team leader, Muhammad Babur, meets with an internally displaced family in Maimana city.
Muhammad Asef (left) is from Qaratana village in Almar. The family fled to Maimana city after a nearby village, Qara Ghawili, was captured by Taliban on 2 January 2017.
About ten days ago, Muhammad Asef fled his home together with his children because of the fighting in the area. Muhammad Asef’s mother Babu Jan, 65, left the village together with five other women from the family when armed opposition captured a nearby village.
Conflict displacement has increased almost exponentially over the past five years. Estimates indicate that close to 600,000 people were internally displaced due to conflict in 2016 .
- In Afghanistan, conflict displacement has increased almost exponentially over the past five years. Estimates indicate that close to 600,000 people were internally displaced due to conflict in 2016. In 2015, close to 400,000 people were newly internally displaced, whilst approximately 200,000 were newly displaced over 2013.
- The humanitarian community had initially projected and planned for just 250,000 IDPs at the beginning of 2016.
- In September 2016, a Flash Appeal was launched for ‘1 Million People on the Move’, due to the unprecedented and unexpected increase in numbers of displaced persons in Afghanistan, both due to the conflict-induced internal displacement and the mass, spontaneous return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. The Flash Appeal attempted to mobilise additional resources for life-saving assistance.
- In 2016, NRC provided emergency assistance to over 80,000 people internally displaced by conflict in Afghanistan, within two weeks of their displacement, in some of the hardest-to-reach areas of Afghanistan.
- In 2016, NRC directly assisted 300,000 displaced people through its wider programme in Afghanistan, which includes legal assistance, shelter, and education in emergencies. NRC maintains ten offices across Afghanistan, including in Faryab.