Family in Balkh province, Afghanistan

In the year that has passed since the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan we have seen daily and continuous deterioration in the situation of Afghan women and girls. This has spanned every aspect of their human rights, from living standards to social and political status. It has been a year of increasing disrespect for their right to live free and equal lives, denying them opportunity to livelihoods, access to health care and education, and escape from situations of violence.

Kokogul remembers the recent flood which cost her everything, standing in her tent in Kabul’s slums. Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/Norwegian Refugee Council

Statement by Neil Turner, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Country Director, on the one-year mark of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan:

“We have witnessed shocking levels of poverty and suffering in Afghanistan over the past year. The economic restrictions imposed on the country and the unwillingness of both the de facto authorities and the international community to effectively engage with one another have pushed millions of Afghans into despair.

Children from drought-affected households play outside of Qaydaradey IDP camp in Baidoa. Photo: Abdulkadir Mohamed/NRC

A devastating drought in Somalia has reached unprecedented levels, as the one millionth person displaced by the drought was registered this week.

More than 755,000 people have been internally displaced in Somalia because of the severe drought this year, bringing the total figure to 1 million people since January 2021 when the drought began, according to displacement figures released today by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

NRC staff assess flood damage in Barmal district of Paktika province. Photo: NRC assessment team

Statement by Neil Turner, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Country Director, on the situation in severely flood-hit Afghan provinces:

“This year’s unseasonal flooding is catastrophic for impacted communities in Afghanistan. The scale of destruction is unparalleled. Flash floods have swept away entire sections of roads and other critical infrastructure - bridges, wheat mills, hospitals and schools. People have lost their businesses, and the entire families have seen their homes and acres of farmland destroyed.

Homes of internally displaced people demolished in Kabul. Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC

Up to half a million families in Afghanistan are now facing the prospect of homelessness following increasing pressure from the authorities to return internally displaced people to their areas of origin. Decades of conflict, droughts, political instability and economic collapse have driven displaced Afghans into enclaves around bigger cities that over time have grown into slum-like settlements.

WorldCon 75, Scott Lynch; photo by Jana Blomqvist

Interview

WorldCon 75, Robin Hobb; photo by Jana Blomqvist

Interview

Based on an interview by Alisa Nirman on 3.10.2016

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