Sunday, February 22, 2009

Afghanistan: Humanitarian Crisis in Freezing Weather

by Amnesaty International
18 February 2009

Tens of thousands of Afghans displaced from their homes by escalating fighting and ongoing food shortages require immediate humanitarian assistance.

Amnesty International has called on the international community to implement a comprehensive strategy for assisting the Afghan people. The call came as US President Barack Obama announced the deployment of an additional 17,000 US troops to Afghanistan.

"The US and the international community should adopt an approach that emphasizes the rights and well-being of the Afghan people and not just focus on a military solution," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director.

Around 235,000 people are currently displaced in Afghanistan, according to estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Most are displaced as a result of the fighting between government forces (and allied US and NATO troops) and armed opposition groups including the Taleban, particularly in the South, Southeast and Northwest regions of the country.

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