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Over 1 mn Afghans migrated in 4 months: Report

News Agencies | Updated on: 6 February 2022, 9:34 IST

More than one million Afghans have migrated over the last four months, local media reported citing the New York Times.

According to Tolo News, most of the migrants crossed border areas into Iran and Pakistan.

The head of a private transportation industry said that around 4,000 people are heading to Iran on daily basis.

Mohammad Ayoub, 52, and his family of five are traveling to Iran.

"The problems are obvious to everyone. There is poverty, unemployment and there is no educational opportunity for the youth," he said, as per Tolo News.

"I want to go because I want my children--two boys and two daughters--to continue their studies in a good environment," he added.

He worked at the Ministry of Higher Education for 10 years. Ayoubi said life has become difficult for him and his family in Afghanistan, and, therefore, he wants to travel to Iran.

Many of the travelers in Herat province, the transportation industrial's heads said, are people who seek to cross the border to Iran.

They said some also travel to Pakistan.

"Every day, we take 3,500 to 4,000 people from here (Kabul) to Kandahar, Nimroz and Herat provinces," said Ismail Jawanmard Amerkhel, head of a transportation company.

The New York Times said the mass migration has raised alarms in the region as well as Europe about a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis, when more than a million people, mostly Syrians, sought asylum in Europe, as per Tolo News.

"Though many are choosing to leave because of the immediate economic crisis, the prospect of long-term Taliban governance -- including restrictions on women and fears of retribution -- has only added to their urgency, the report reads.

Refugee rights defenders in Iran expressed concerns over the status of Afghan refugees in Iran.

"The Afghan refugees in Iran are facing various challenges such as lack of access to work and refugee identification cards. A refugee is always at risk of being back deported," said Naqibullah Rasikh, a refugee rights activist.

The Islamic Emirate said efforts are underway to tackle the economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

"The statistics of the Islamic Emirate show that between 1,500 to 2,000 people are going to Iran from Afghanistan on a daily basis," said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

Many of the migrants entering Iran are seeking to cross the borders of Turkey and from there go on to Europe for asylum.


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First published: 6 February 2022, 9:34 IST