A senior United Nations official says the plight of internally-displaced Afghans is "appalling."
U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos met with some 80 families living in a settlement in Kabul Wednesday. She said she was appalled by the unacceptable conditions families, particularly women and children, are forced to endure in the heart of the capital city.
"The situation as we can all see here is deeply, deeply distressing and expecting people to go on living in these kinds of conditions is not acceptable," said Amos.
Amos is on a four-day visit to Afghanistan that began Tuesday. The U.N. says she visited the informal settlement made up of shanties, with little access to water and sanitation, basic hygiene, and education.
Amos said more than a third of Afghanistan's population has personal experience of displacement, due to conflict, recurrent natural hazards and lack of economic opportunity.
The U.N. says that some 5.7 million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan since 2002 "with mixed reintegration results." An additional 5 million Afghans live in Pakistan and Iran. And some 500,000 Afghans are internally displaced due to conflict and natural hazards.
Amos said Wednesday that effective relief and long-lasting solutions to help the displaced are urgently needed.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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