Afghanistan, Development: 5.6 million returned refugees, another 5 million still in neighboring countries, and 500,000 internally displaced

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Reiterates Commitment to the Afghan People

(Kabul/New York, 11 May 2012) Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, reconfirmed the commitment of the humanitarian community to the people of Afghanistan at the end of her four-day visit.

“Afghans in acute need require timely relief and assistance, delivered impartially. We are and will continue to deliver humanitarian assistance where it is needed, but clearly this alone is not enough,” she stated.

More than a third of Afghanistan’s population has personal experience of displacement, including the 5.6 million returned refugees, another 5 million still in neighboring countries, and 500,000 internally displaced as a result of on-going conflict, recurrent and debilitating natural disasters, and the lack of rural development.

In parallel to humanitarian efforts, longer-term investment in human development and prevention measures are urgently needed to reduce vulnerability in the face of these challenges.

“We must also invest in efforts to strengthen the resiliency of communities themselves and the capacity of service delivery institutions,” she added.

“Much has been achieved over the past decade but Afghanistan remains near the bottom ranking of all human development indicators. There is still much more to do,” she said.

During the transition period the humanitarian needs of the people in Afghanistan must not be forgotten.

“Security is a priority. But for the Afghans I met, security is not just about physical security. It is also about the importance of investment in human development and the delivery of critical functions such as livelihoods, primary education, healthcare and the functioning rule of law. They need and deserve our continued support,” Ms. Amos stated.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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