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AFGHANISTAN: IDPs, Internal Refugees

By jimstaro - Posted on 10 January 2011

AFGHANISTAN: Call for help for IDPs, deportees in Helmand

10 January 2011 (IRIN) - Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from insurgency-hit Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, need food assistance urgently, officials told IRIN.

About 900 displaced families in the provincial capital Lashkargah have little or no means to feed themselves and their children this winter, according to Ghulam Farouq Noorzai, director of Helmand’s refugees and returnee affairs department.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) confirmed that of the 3,800 families displaced from Nad Ali and Marjah districts during a major counterinsurgency operation in February 2010, about 900 (300 from Nad Ali and 600 from Marjah) still remain in Lashkargah.

Despite government assurances about improved security and governance in Marjah and Nad Ali, IDPs said insecurity was impeding their return. Taliban insurgents harass and assassinate people who are deemed pro-government, launch hit-and-run attacks on Afghan and foreign troops and use improvised explosive devices which often inflict disproportionate harm on civilians. {continued}

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