Displaced Afghan women wait in a line outside a municipal public office in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 12, 2021 | Photo: EPA/Maxim Shipenkov
Displaced Afghan women wait in a line outside a municipal public office in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 12, 2021 | Photo: EPA/Maxim Shipenkov

Italy's foreign ministry has allocated €21.5 million in emergency funds to UN refugee agency UNHCR. The money is intended for humanitarian activities in Afghanistan and nearby countries.

Italy's deputy foreign minister Marina Sereni has allocated €21.5 million in total funds to the UNHCR, €11.5 million of which have been earmarked for humanitarian activities in Afghanistan and €10 million will go towards funding emergency aid in Iran and Pakistan.

The goal is to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in the two neighboring countries, as well as the local host communities.

"I am pleased to have signed this decision," deputy minister Sereni said, "which shows how much Italy was able to respond urgently in a very short time in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan population. We cannot abandon the citizens of that country, especially now when threats to security, the cash crisis, the arrival of winter, and continuing violence are causing further worsening of the situation."

Pakistan, Iran host more than 2 million Afghan refugees

"On behalf of High Commissioner Filippo Grandi," added UNHCR representative for Italy Chiara Cardoletti, "I would like to thank the Italian government for the support."

Pakistan is currently hosting 1.4 million Afghans officially registered in the country as well as thousands of unregistered ones, according to data from UNHCR.

At least 290,000 Afghan nationals have sought refugee in Pakistan since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, according to Pakistan's Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary -- even though Pakistani authorities have officially closed the border to Afghan refugees.

Iran hosts nearly 800,000 Afghan refugees, according to UNHCR.

 

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