Afghanistan: numbers fleeing Kandahar region fall
Smaller numbers of Afghans have fled the Kandahar region over recent days. Today there were only some 100 to 150 Afghans waiting to enter UNHCR's Killi Faizo transit camp at the Chaman border crossing located between Kandahar and the Pakistani provincial capital of Quetta. There are currently more than 24,000 Afghan refugees in three camps near Pakistani border town of Chaman, including the recently opened United Arab Emirates' Red Crescent-run camp that shelters some 2,000 newly arrived Afghans.
This week UNHCR is sending an Ilyushin 76 aircraft from Brindisi, Italy to Kabul's Bagram airfield loaded with more than 31 metric tons of aid valued at $100,000 including 6,500 blankets, 2,400 jerry cans, 528 kitchen sets, tents, plastic tarpaulins, soap and health kits. The aid and the airlift from Italy are being provided to UNHCR by the government of Italy. The aircraft, which is being operated for UNHCR by the World Food Programme, is expected in Kabul by Thursday.
Starting on Thursday, UNHCR will widen its distribution of relief winter items that has already reached more than 11,000 destitute Afghans to 56 districts in four provinces around Kabul. Thursday's new round of aid is targeting people in Kabul, Wardak, Ghazni and Logar provinces, and the airlift of Italian-contributed items will help to kick-off the expanded distribution.
UNHCR's first convoy of relief aid arriving from Turkmenistan reached Herat on Saturday. The Swiss-donated aid, aboard 14 trucks, will be distributed to displaced Afghans living in Badgis and Faryab provinces, to the north-east of Herat. UNHCR's second convoy of 11 trucks that was dispatched from Mashad, Iran, has been held up due to Iranian customs clearance formalities. We understand that at least part of the convoy should enter Afghanistan today.
The incoming aid will be distributed to displaced Afghans living in Maslakh camp near Herat. By Tuesday, UNHCR will have sent some 25 truckloads of aid carrying 2,000 tents, 17,000 blankets, 4,000 sleeping bags, 1,580 stoves and 10,000 bars of soap and other items into the Herat region.