Today, approximately 7.5 million Afghans live as refugees in other countries, primarily the neighbouring countries Iran and Pakistan.
But since 2002, 5.7 million Afghan refugees have returned to their native land. They dream of a new life in Afghanistan after the Taliban regime has been overthrown – but reality rarely bears comparison with the dreams. Some of the returning refugees have lived their entire lives in exile and so have difficulties adapting to life in Afghanistan, while others come back to find that the land of their fathers has been taken over by others or perhaps mined. Out of the 5.7 million returned refugees, a full 4.6 millions have therefore had to receive aid from the UN Refugee Agency.
Apart from the refugee flows across borders, many Afghans also flee from one part of the country to another – usually from the conflict-ridden southern provinces to the Kabul area. Those are called ‘internally displaced persons’ and it is assumed that around 650,000 of them can be found in Afghanistan.
The internally displaced persons often end up living in one of the primitive refugee camps on the outskirts of the capital. To the right, you can see and read more about life in those camps. You can also read about the NGO Danish Refugee Council and their work in the camps.