United Nations officials say more than two million Afghans have returned home since the fall of the Taleban late last year, far surpassing initial expectations.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says 1.8 million Afghans have returned from other countries, and more than 250,000 people displaced within Afghanistan also have returned to their home areas.

U.N. workers had expected about 1.2 million refugees to make their way home.

UNHCR spokeswoman Maki Shinohara said there is a severe shortage of essential supplies, including tents, blankets, stoves, fuel and plastic sheeting. Such items are especially necessary now, during Afghanistan's cold winter months.

The spokeswoman told reporters Sunday in Kabul that more international aid is needed, since up to 1.5 million more refugees are expected to return in the coming year.