Geneva [Switzerland], August 18 (ANI): The United Nations migration agency on Tuesday expressed "great concern" over the developments in Afghanistan and "grave consequences" for displaced people and civilians needing humanitarian assistance.
"While the current situation presents difficult new challenges, IOM will strive to continue its programmes and provide assistance to displaced communities while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its staff across the country," said International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General Antonio Vitorino.
Nearly 400,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the year as a result of ongoing violence. More than five million others are already internally displaced and reliant on humanitarian aid, the agency said in a statement.
Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took control of the presidential palace as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Taliban leaders have been discussing future government plans in Doha after gaining control of Kabul.
Reiterating that the safety and protection of civilians remain the number one priority, the IOM appealed to all parties to ensure unhindered access for all humanitarian actors providing relief and a much-needed assistance to affected populations who should be able to continue to exercise their fundamental rights.
Due to instability and recent security developments in the capital Kabul, movement to and from the country has been hindered, affecting IOM operations.
Ensuring the safety of civilians is paramount and should be a priority for all concerned. IOM urged all parties to continue efforts to maintain dialogue and works towards a peaceful resolution of the situation, prioritizing the welfare of the Afghan people.
"We echo the call by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for an immediate end to violence and the protection of the rights of civilians," the statement read. (ANI)