BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 1 October, 2001, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Afghanistan's missing millions
Newly-arrived Afghan refugees set up tents at a refugee camp
The threat of military strikes on Afghanistan is intensifying a refugee crisis caused by years of famine and intolerance. There are 3.7m Afghan refugees - the biggest group of dispossessed from any country in the world.

BBC News Online looks at the scale of the crisis and the international response to the problem.

The refugees

Refugees wait for food at an Afghan camp
Refugees wait for food at an Afghan camp
The battle for food

As winter approaches, the threat of famine hangs over millions of refugees in Afghanistan. International aid agencies have been working to help the thousands of people who are fleeing the region and to get food to those who stay.

 Christian Aid's Dominic Nutt has been working in Afghanistan

Pakistan 'overwhelmed'

Pakistan is already hosting 2.2m Afghan refugees
Pakistan is already hosting 2.2m Afghan refugees
Millions of refugees depend on food handouts to survive, but with very little aid getting into Afghanistan neighbouring countries risk being swamped. Relief organisations and the United Nations have appealed for urgent help to stave off a catastrophe.

 Click here for Adam Brookes' report

Tajikistan enters equation

One million Tajiks are threatened with starvation
One million Tajiks are threatened with starvation
As Afghans continue to flee in fear of war, thousands of refugees are heading for the border with Tajikistan. However, the former Soviet republic is refusing to let them in because it is struggling to cope with a crisis of its own - widespread hunger caused by a drought.

 Click here for David Shukman's report

Long lasting humanitarian crisis

Afghan crisis: Aid needed for months
Afgan crisis: Aid needed for months
The attacks on America have brought the plight of Afghan refugees to the world's attention, but the problem dates back several years. In February the BBC's Matt Frei was allowed deep into Afghanistan to see conditions at the Herat camp in the west of the country.

 Click here for Matt Frei's report

The international response

Delivering aid

A 'coherent' approach is needed by all parties
A 'coherent' approach is needed by all parties
With the basic priorities of food, water, sanitation and shelter at the forefront of helping the Afghan refugees, international agencies are calling for a governmental coalition to provide the safe and effective distribution of aid. Oxfam is pleased with the response so far.

 Oxfam's director for Afghanistan John Fairhurst

A new alliance forms

Annan says money may not be enough
Annan says money may not be enough
In additon to the global coalition against terrorism, 15 countries met in Berlin to plan the wider relief effort for refugees. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for the international community to provide $584m for the projected needs of up to 7.5m Afghans over the next six months.

 Click here for Emil Petrie's report

UK pledges additional financial support

Clare Short MP, Secretary of State for Overseas Development
Clare Short has lobbied hard for financial aid
The UK government has given an extra 11m to help Pakistan deal with a flood of refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan. The extra money comes on top of the 25m which had already been earmarked when the scale of the crisis in Afghanistan first became clear.

 UK International Development Secretary, Clare Short

Links to more World stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more World stories