On the heels of UN refugee agency's warning of "a larger crisis that is just beginning" in Afghanistan, an EU draft shared by Reuters shows the bloc is aiming for stricter policies to curb refugee influx from Afghanistan following Taliban takeover.
As evacuations from Kabul wind down, "a larger crisis is just beginning" in Afghanistan and for its 39 million people, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has said, appealing for support.
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, reiterated on Monday a call for borders to remain open and for more countries to share "this humanitarian responsibility" with Iran and Pakistan which already host 2.2 million Afghans.
His agency said last Friday that up to 500,000 Afghans could flee by year-end.
The airlift out of Kabul is almost finished. Many lives were saved. But the challenges are not over for the people of Afghanistan.— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) August 29, 2021
Afghans who won’t leave, displaced Afghans, Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries need the world’s help and solidarity to continue and last.
"The airlifts out of Kabul will end in a matter of days, and the tragedy that has unfolded will no longer be as visible.
But it will still be a daily reality for millions of Afghans. We must not turn away. A far greater humanitarian crisis is just beginning," Grandi said in a statement on Monday.
EU to seek to stop mass Afghanistan migration flows
On the heels of Grandi's statement, it appeared that European Union was preparing to stem the flow of refugees following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
A draft statement prepared for a meeting on Tuesday seen by Reuters showed that the EU governments are eager to avoid a repeat of the chaotic influx of refugees and migrants in 2015 despite the UNHCR calling for shared responsibility.
The 2015 Syrian refugee influx caught the bloc unprepared and sowed divisions among them, fuelling support for far-right parties as camps in Greece, Italy and elsewhere swelled.
"Based on lessons learned, the EU and its member states stand determined to act jointly to prevent the recurrence of uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements faced in the past, by preparing a coordinated and orderly response," interior ministers will say at the meeting, according to the draft statement seen by Reuters.