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153,000 people flee homes in past 7 months: Balkhi

153,000 people flee homes in past 7 months: Balkhi

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On
Aug 01, 2017 - 21:02

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): As many as 153,000 individuals have been displaced across the country due to clashes and insecurity during the past seven months, said the minister of refugees and repatriation on Tuesday.

Sayed Hussain Alami Balkhi, during a visit to western Herat province, told a press conference here that about $16 million had been allocated to meet the needs of the internally displaced people (IDPs).

The minister said the figures showed about 27,000 families or 153,000 people had been displaced in various provinces due to the war and insecurity since the beginning of the year until August. He said the number showed a decline compared to the same period of 2016.

Balkhi didn’t go into details, saying last year’s about 252,000 IDPs were registered across the country. Balkhi said his ministry was able to facilitate safe return of 118,000 people to their areas of origin.

Earlier the ministry had said a total of more than one million had been internally displaced. Balkhi said most of the IDPs were from the western zone (Badghis, Ghor, Farah, and Herat provinces) and all had taken refuge in Herat, numbering around 100,000 individuals.

He said the Afghan government had adopted a national policy for IDPs and $16 million had been allocated for the purpose. Balkhi added the amount would be used to facilitate voluntary transfer of the IDPs to their own areas and meeting their preliminary needs.

Mohammad Asif Rahimi, the Herat governor, also spoke on the occasion and urged attention to the phenomenon of displacement. He said the government should consider addressing IDPs’ needs as a priority.

He said the government should facilitate permanent stay of IDPs who had long been living in Heart and were unable to return to their own areas.

sns/ma

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