736 Afghans recorded for new registration in India from Aug 1 to Sep 11

New Delhi: A total of 736 Afghans were recorded for new registration from August 1 to September 11, the UNHCR said here, adding that it is scaling up its capacity to meet increasing requests for registration and assistance of Afghans in India.

The UN refugee agency said it is in constant dialogue with the government on matters pertaining to Afghan nationals, including issuance and extensions of visa, assistance, and solutions.

According to the data, the total number of persons of concern to UNHCR in India stands at 43,157. Among them, 15,559 refugees and asylum seekers are from Afghanistan.

“From August 1 until September 11, 736 Afghans were recorded by UNHCR for new registration,” the UN body said in a statement.

Among those who have approached the UNHCR are Afghan individuals who have newly arrived in 2021, those seeking reopening of previously closed asylum cases, students, businessmen, or people on medical or other types of visa who are unable to go back due to the current situation in Afghanistan.

The UNHCR further said that it is scaling up its capacity to meet the increasing requests for registration and assistance of Afghans in India.

“UNHCR is increasing its humanitarian response programme for vulnerable new arrivals from Afghanistan. Basic assistance such as food, cash-based assistance and core relief items are being provided to the most vulnerable new arrivals from Afghanistan and those already in India,” the UN body said.

The UNHCR said it has also set up an Afghanistan emergency cell and a dedicated help page for Afghans with comprehensive information on registration and assistance available.

“Additional 24/7 helplines were established to answer queries around the clock and direct engagement with Afghan communities scaled up. Over 130 calls are received per day, mainly enquiring about assistance and registration,” it said.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities, including Kabul, against the backdrop of the withdrawal of US forces.

India also evacuated people on military transport aircraft of the IAF under the government’s ‘Operation Devi Shakti’.