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Pakistan: numbers fleeing north-eastern Afghanistan rise sharply

Briefing notes

Pakistan: numbers fleeing north-eastern Afghanistan rise sharply

27 October 2000

The number of Afghans fleeing fighting in north-eastern Afghanistan rose sharply this week, with some 5,000 refugees arriving in Pakistan.

UNHCR is concerned that continued fighting and the onset of winter may force more Afghans to flee to Pakistan. The fighting and the worst drought in years also have displaced thousands inside Afghanistan. Renewed fighting since last month in north-eastern Afghanistan has so far driven 28,000 Afghans into Pakistan. The arrivals this week included 2,800 crossing at the Torkham border post in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), and 2,200 at various entry points in the south-west province of Baluchistan. UNHCR monitors say more than 600 Afghans have been arriving in Pakistan daily over the past week.

UNHCR is providing an additional US$ 950,000 to meet the urgent shelter, food, water and health needs of the new arrivals. On Wednesday and Thursday, we transferred another 1,200 new Afghan arrivals from a makeshift site in Jalozai, near Peshawar, the capital of NWFP, to the New Shamshatoo refugee village, where they have been provided with relief aid. A UNHCR and government medical team is visiting the New Shamshatoo camp to assess the condition of the arrivals. Pakistan hosts 1.2 million Afghan refugees.