The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for an immediate aid package from donor nations of $252 million today, as part of its preparation for the largest humanitarian operation the agency has undertaken since the Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999. Believed to be only a small fraction of what will be needed to provide for the expected 1.5 million Afghan refugees heading for the Pakistan and Iran borders. And some 3.5 million refugees already in Afghanistan and the 1.5 million refugees already in Iran. Other U.N. agencies, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Food Program are also expected to request immediate aid from donor countries in the coming days. The new request may amount to more than $1 billion total. UNHCR will use the requested funds to build camps and shelter. Other named U.N. agencies will coordinate food, medical, and child-related assistance.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has been urging the United States, the largest donor country, to drastically increase its humanitarian aid for refugees, especially women and children, which make up 75% of refugees.