500,000 people displaced in Afghanistan in 2016: UN

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United NAtions, Dec 1 (IANS) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that more than 500,000 people have been internally displaced in Afghanistan by conflict so far in 2016, the highest number on record, a UN spokesman said.

“OCHA says the number represents a worrying trend of year-on-year increases of people internally displaced by conflict as well as a growing number of people living in prolonged displacement,” Deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Wednesday.

“This year, internal displacement is four times more than in 2013,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan Mark Bowden has expressed concern that these record figures show not just an alarming number of new internally displaced persons (IDPs), but a longer term crisis where increasing numbers of families in Afghanistan are facing prolonged displacement.

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Worsening security situation and the ongoing militancy have forced the Afghan people to leave their houses for safer places. More than 1.1 million Afghans have been displaced due to conflicts since 2001 and more than 323,000 were registered as displaced persons in the first 10 months of 2016, reports said.

Thousands of Afghans have been displaced in the wake of intensifying attacks by Taliban militants against government interests in Kunduz, Helmand and Farah provinces over the past month, the reports said.



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