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‘Instability in Afghanistan likely to mount migratory pressure’

According to EU statistics, some 550,000 Afghans have now been internally displaced since the beginning of the year, in addition to 2.9 million already internally displaced at the end of 2020.

IANS | Brussels |

The instability in Afghanistan is likely to lead to an increased migratory pressure, and the European Union (EU) is preparing for all scenarios, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said.

Johansson issued a statement on Wednesday following a meeting of EU Interior Ministers, saying that the bloc shouldn’t wait for refugees to reach the borders of its member countries, instead, it should prevent people from heading towards it through unsafe, irregular and uncontrolled routes run by smugglers, reports Xinhua news agency.

She added that the EU cannot abandon people in immediate danger in Afghanistan.

“Journalists, NGO staff and human rights advocates in Afghanistan are among those who are most at risk, women in particular,” Johansson said.

“I have called on member states to step up their engagement on resettlement, to increase resettlement quotas to help those in need of international protection and to offer complimentary legal pathways.”

She added that the Commission stands ready to help in the coordination between member states and provide the necessary additional financial support on “this important work strand”.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin also said on Wednesday that “Seamless cooperation is required now in the international community to secure the rights of women and civilians in Afghanistan”.

Strong international determination is now needed for not allowing the situation in Afghanistan to deteriorate, she told a press conference.

According to EU statistics, some 550,000 Afghans have now been internally displaced since the beginning of the year, in addition to 2.9 million already internally displaced at the end of 2020.

Also on Wednesday, 85 Afghan citizens landed in Rome in the framework of an airlift operation Italy was carrying out to evacuate local collaborators and their families in Afghanistan.

In Belgium, three military transportation planes left the country’s Melsbroek military air base on the same day in preparation for the Afghanistan evacuation operation.