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Afghan Conflict Causes Record Internal Displacements in 2016, UN Says

  • VOA News

FILE - An Afghan family is seen in a temporary home in a camp for internally displaced persons in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 30, 2016.

The United Nations announced Wednesday that the conflict in Afghanistan has internally displaced more than a half million people in 2016, the highest number on record.

The figure surpasses last year's record of 471,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and is around 15 percent more than the figure at this time last year, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan.

"More of Afghanistan is also affected, with a record 198 out of 399 districts reporting conflict-induced displacement so far this year, and for the first time, all 34 provinces are now hosting IDPs," it added.

UNOCHA said that in addition to the high level of internal displacement, the surge of more than 600,000 Afghan-registered refugees and undocumented returnees from Pakistan this year is also of concern.

In the past five years, more than 1.3 million Afghans have been internally displaced by conflict, with severe humanitarian impact, UNOCHA said.

Many displaced families choose to move to Afghanistan's major urban centers in search of jobs, health services and schools because the lack of security keeps them from returning to their homes.

The U.N. agency reiterated that the humanitarian community is facing greater challenges in safely accessing vulnerable families and meeting their urgent needs.