UN refugee chief says agency will engage Taliban

PTI Ankara | Updated on September 11, 2021

The priority for my organisation is to scale up our humanitarian work to help those displaced: Grandi

The UN refugee agency chief said on Friday the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will engage with the Taliban in order to provide assistance to millions of displaced Afghans.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, also said his agency has so far not observed large numbers of Afghans trying to cross into other countries but warned that the situation could change if conditions in the country deteriorate.

Also see: US not in a rush to recognize Taliban govt: White House

“The priority number one for my organisation is to step up and scale up our humanitarian work to help those displaced... Winter is coming. It is very cold in Afghanistan during winter,” Grandi said.

He added, “In order to do that, UNHCR, like other humanitarian organisations, will engage, will discuss with the Taliban. We will discuss with anybody that controls an area where there are people in need.” The UNHCR chief made the comment in the Turkish province of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, at the end of a four-day visit to the Turkey.

Turkey, which already hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees and 300,000 Afghan migrants, has expressed concern over the potential of large numbers of Afghans heading its way.

Published on September 11, 2021

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