September 16, 2021: UNHCR said that there have been 736 Afghans in India up for new registration from August 1 to September 11. They added that scaling up its capacity to meet increasing requests for registration and assistance of Afghans in India.
According to the agency data, the total number of persons of concern to UNHCR in India stands at 43,157. Among them, 15,559 refugees and asylum seekers are from Afghanistan.
Afghans in India up for new registration, visas and assistance
UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency said they are in constant dialogue with the government on matters pertaining to Afghan nationals who came to India, including issuance and extensions of visas, assistance, and solutions.
“From August 1 until September 11, 736 Afghans were recorded by UNHCR for new registration,” the UN body said in a statement.
Afghan individuals who newly arrived in 2021, those seeking to reopen previously closed asylum cases, students, businessmen, or people on medical or other types of visas who are unable to go back due to the current situation in Afghanistan approached the UN refugee agency.
The UNHCR further said that it is scaling up its capacity to meet the increasing requests for registration and assistance of Afghans in India.
UNHCR increases humanitarian response for Afghans in India
The UN body said “UNHCR is increasing its humanitarian response programme for vulnerable new arrivals from Afghanistan. Basic assistance such as food, cash-based assistance and core relief items are being provided to the most vulnerable new arrivals from Afghanistan and those already in India.”
The body revealed that it has also set up an Afghanistan emergency cell to extend a dedicated help page for Afghans with comprehensive information on registration and assistance available.
“Additional 24/7 helplines were established to answer queries around the clock and direct engagement with Afghan communities scaled up. Over 130 calls are received per day, mainly enquiring about assistance and registration,” it said.
The Afghans do not want to go back home despite their financial status
Afghan nationals who arrived in India before the Taliban captured control over a majority of Afghanistan say they do not want to return despite facing financial hardships here.
Many of them, who came to India days before the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government in Afghanistan are making ends meet by working in local shops and restaurants.
The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities, including Kabul, against the backdrop of the withdrawal of US forces. India also evacuated people on military transport aircraft of the IAF under the government’s ‘Operation Devi Shakti’.