MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Thousands of displaced families are in dire need of assistance in northern Balkh province, but the provincial government lacks enough resources to assist them all, said the provincial refugee and repatriation director.
Balkh refugee and repatriation director Syed Massoud Qaderi told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview that the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Balkh exceeded 20,000 and some of them needed urgent assistance.
Qaderi said his department could assist deserving families only during an emergency situation. He said this year’s clashes forced thousands of more families to take refuge in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital.
“Unfortunately, the conflict is ongoing in various districts of Balkh province while Samangan, Faryab, Sari Pul and Jawzjan provinces were the scene of clashes as well, with thousands of families fleeing to Mazar-i-Sharif,” he said.
He said during the first eight months of the ongoing solar year 1399, they received 12,000 application for assistance from the displaced families, indicating that many more families had arrived in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Qaderi said his department had been able to provide assistance to about 2500 families in cooperation with a number of aid giving agencies. He said the aid included cash assistance, food and non-food items and medical support.
He said his department was trying to assist the most deserving families. “We have a digital system. We first visit the displaced families to know if they really need assistance and then register them in the digital system to separate them from those who have received the aid.”
The Balkh refugee department head said displaced families who were in emergency situation were provided cash assistance and those in the second category were given food items.
He said more than 20,000 displaced families lived in the provincial capital and some of them were in need of urgent assistance.
He said his department lacked enough resources to provide assistance to all displaced families but it assisted those in emergency situation with the help of foreign aid-giving agencies.
He said nearly 5000 families were assisted last year in Balkh. He said they were also trying to assist the displaced families in learning vocational skills.
Qaderi urged charity organizations and traders to extend their support to his department in aiding the displaced families ahead of winter.