Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘smugglers’

UNHCR: Greece’s new immigration policies based on “dangerous generalizations”

Posted by clandestina on 10 July 2009

Q&A: Greece’s new immigration policies based on “dangerous generalizations”

10 Jul 2009 15:47:04 GMT
Source: UNHCR
ATHENS, Greece, July 10 (UNHCR) – Greece has introduced strict policies aimed at combating irregular immigration and passed legislation that could compromise the effective protection of people applying for asylum for the first time or on appeal. Charis Karanikas of the Ta Nea daily newspaper recently met Giorgios Tsarbopoulos, head of UNHCR’s office in Athens, to talk about the implications of this new legislation and a police crackdown on alleged illegal immigrants.
Excerpts from the interview:
What do you think of the latest measures?
The reasoning behind them is based on dangerous generalizations. We cannot speak only about “illegal” immigrants. Amongst them are many people who are in need of protection and whom the state is obligated to protect.
Should police measures be beefed up?
Yes, as regards the smugglers and the traffickers. But the problem cannot be handled only by police measures. Harsher policing at the border must be coupled with the creation of reception facilities.
What can be done in neighbourhoods inundated by immigrants?
Firstly, all those who are entitled to it under the law should be referred to special accommodation facilities. They include asylum-seekers and unaccompanied minors. Today, hundreds of people who have a right to this are homeless. In general, there is a need for shelter planning, regardless of whether people are legal or illegal.Will the violence seen in the central Athens neighbourhood of Agios Panteleimon, home to many homeless Afghan migrants and asylum-seekers, spread to other areas?I hope not.
How can this be avoided?
By isolating the extreme reactions, which simply serve to shift the problem. And through a dialogue between the government and the political parties, initiatives taken by the municipalities as well as talks with organizations of immigrants and refugees.
Do you agree with transforming military camps into reception centres?
Reception facilities and administrative detention centres for immigrants in view of their deportation are two separate things. It’s not enough to turn some installations into detention centres if you pretend to create proper reception conditions.
Can Greece address this problem alone?
What’s your opinion about the European Union’s stand on the matter?
It is steering clear of establishing binding mechanisms and practices for fairer responsibility sharing among the member states.
How many immigrants arrive in Greece each year?
In 2008, 146,337 people were arrested for “illegally entering and residing” in the country. There are, of course, others who have not been arrested. On the other hand, an unknown number of those who have been arrested were already residing in the country. Therefore the official data needs further analysis.
How many of them end up in existing reception centres?
All those who enter the country without papers are detained for up to three months at the administrative detention centres. Those who request asylum are transferred to open reception centres, which are too few to meet demand.
What are conditions like at these centres?
Most of the detention centres do not meet the basic conditions of human rights. The exceptions include the new centres on the island of Samos and in the Evros region [Filakio], however both are faced with problems of overcrowding.
What about reception conditions?
Reception facilities in border areas should include services and specialized staff in order to ensure the identification of people who are entitled to protection, assessment of their needs, information about their rights and obligations, and facilitation for their access to the asylum procedure.
Do you think the number of people who apply for asylum is less than the number who need it?
Those who deserve asylum are fewer than those who request it. And those who request it are not all refugees who genuinely deserve it.
Why don’t those who need asylum apply for it?
It’s because they don’t get the right information or legal advice, especially in the border areas. It’s also because they don’t manage to submit their application . . . or because they don’t trust Greece’s very problematic asylum system.
What are the main problems with Greece’s asylum system?
The initial processing and decision-making is unreliable, and the refugee recognition rate is almost zero. Not all asylum claims are registered swiftly, while many asylum-seekers lose their right to appeal. The procedure for adjudicating the claims is extremely slow.
What are the most common complaints you get from immigrants and refugees?
Delays in the adjudication of their asylum applications; lack of shelter and social care; informal push-backs or returns to Turkey across the Evros River [in north-east Greece], cases of ill-treatment.
And what do you do about them?
It depends. We address formal letters to the authorities; we try to solve the problem in an ad hoc way if possible; and we often refer individual cases to non-governmental organizations which provide legal and social support.

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Emigrating Afghans: no crisis in the smuggling business in a destroyed country

Posted by clandestina on 5 July 2009


Afghans Flee Hell at Home & Newspapers

CAIRO — Many Afghans, young and old, are forking over their life savings to be smuggled into Europe in pursuit of a better life away from the death and destruction plaguing their county.

“People can’t find jobs here,” Abdul Ahad, 26, told the New York Times on Sunday, July 5.

“And if you go to a place where there’s work, you’ll be killed in a week.”

Abdul Ahad was laid off from his full-time driving job and forced to take the only work he could find: a once-a-week driving gig through a dangerous Kabul territory.

In the past eight months, a suicide bomb and a firefight nearly took his life.

“I’m desperate.”

He began scouting potential smugglers to take him elsewhere in the world, where he hopes to find a life.

“It’s not a big dream. I just want to finish my studies and live normally.”

He is one of many Afghans who gave up hope after years of war, death and poverty, losing faith in their shaky government.

“We’ve got a president called Hamid Karzai who has done nothing for Afghan people,” fumes Shuja Halimi, a Kabul resident with three children.

Eight years on after the US invasion, Afghanistan is so destitute and undeveloped that most inhabitants have no central heating, electricity or running water.

According to aid agencies, violence has surged over the last three years with more than 2,500 people killed until the first six months of 2008.

Lesser Evil

Afghan smugglers say the number of “clients” is up 60 percent from last year and business is so thriving that they even turned away some customers.

“It’s out of my power to deal with the demand,” one smuggler in Kabul told the NY Times.

“I never imagined it would get like this.”

The most common route for smuggling Afghans is by road from Iran via Turkey to Greece and costs around $16,000.

Once in Europe, Afghans apply for asylum most often in the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy.

Last year, about 18,000 Afghans applied for asylum in Europe, a figure nearly double the 2007 total.

But immigration experts affirm that Afghans do not often find a better life outside their country.

In France, for example, an immigration detention complex dubbed the Jungle is keeping about 600 Afghans in conditions that are “very, very bad,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.

Halimi, the Kabul father, has a personal experience.

He was deported from the UK after a two-month journey across 12 countries, including Bulgaria, where he says he eluded gunfire at the border.

He insists that while living conditions in Europe were awful, but not as bad as in Afghanistan.

That’s precisely why many war-weary Afghans prefer the struggle abroad to the at home.

Akbar Khan, who was among 30 young Afghans returned from England recently, is one of them

But despite the struggle he endured, he is vowing to try again.

“We’ll try to go back in about a month after we save some money.”

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Greek Government on immigration after the Brussels EU summit and the new draft law

Posted by clandestina on 22 June 2009


EU to push Turkey on immigration

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday that Greek efforts to secure greater support from the European Union in its fight to curb illegal immigration had met with success after EU leaders attending a summit in Brussels agreed on the importance of migrant repatriation agreements being honored.

The move was seen as a nudge for Turkey, which has failed to hold up its side of a bilateral pact with Greece to repatriate illegal immigrants arriving on Greek territory from the neighboring country.

“Greece’s positions were understood absolutely and taken into consideration in the conclusions,” Karamanlis told a press conference in Brussels yesterday afternoon, noting that leaders had agreed on the need to further “sensitize” Turkey to issues of migration as an EU candidate.

Specifically, it was agreed that the EU should seek to forge new repatriation pacts with migrants’ countries of origin and with “transit countries” such as Turkey and Libya. In addition, existing bilateral pacts on repatriation, such as the one signed by Greece and Turkey in 2003, should be honored, delegates agreed.

Another significant decision highlighted by Karamanlis was one to boost the activities of the EU’s border monitoring agency Frontex to curb illegal immigration in the southeastern Mediterranean region. There was no response to Greece’s appeal for the creation of a joint European coast guard, which is reportedly regarded as “premature.”

As for the official focus of yesterday’s summit, which was the fallout from the global economic crisis, Karamanlis noted that EU leaders had decided to step up supervision of the European Central Bank system and push through reforms to boost employment.

Immigration progress expected

Buoyed by an agreement among European Union leaders on Friday that all countries, including Turkey, should be pushed to uphold migrant repatriation agreements, Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis said yesterday that he expects “visible results” in Greece’s immigration problem as of September.

“I would like to believe that when we are ready, when we have the reception centers that we are getting ready, when we start a process of speedier repatriation, things will improve greatly,” he said during a visit to his home island of Crete.

It was decided in Brussels that the EU should seek to forge new repatriation pacts with migrants’ countries of origin and with “transit countries” such as Turkey and Libya. In addition, existing bilateral pacts on repatriation, such as the one signed by Greece and Turkey in 2003, should be honored, the EU leaders agreed.

A draft law that proposes stiffer penalties for people smugglers, transforming their offense from a misdemeanor to a felony, is due to be discussed in Parliament tomorrow.

“Up until now, we have seen that many are arrested – just this year almost 500 have been caught – mostly smuggling illegal immigrants from Turkey, but none have been sent to jail,” said Markoyiannakis.

“We think that the penalties foreseen in the bill will act as a deterrent and there will be a reduction in the flow of migrants from the east.”

Last year, almost 150,000 illegal immigrants and more than 2,000 traffickers were arrested in Greece. It is not clear how many of the alleged smugglers were jailed.

Markoyiannakis rejected criticism from PASOK on the government’s immigration policy by saying that previous Socialist governments had been wrong to sign Greece up to the EU’s Dublin Regulation, which means that the member state where an asylum seeker first enters the Union is also the country responsible for registering him and examining the application.

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Navigating the aegean, young afghans toil in new-found Europe

Posted by clandestina on 22 June 2009


This is an article we read on the Turkish newspaper Zaman.  Of interest is the testimony by some Turkish smuggler, who outlines the division of labour, so to speak, in the smuggling industry….

Navigating the aegean, young afghans toil in new-found europe

Navigating the aegean, young  afghans toil in new-found europe - For months, a group of 12 and 13-year-old boys evaded police, skirted payment on buses and hustled for the sympathy of border guards -- not carrying a passport or a single identifying document -- as they trekked overland from Afghanistan to Turkey.

“I haven’t spoken with my mother for three months,” said Newruz, a 13-year-old Afghan, his light hazel eyes sparkling in the deck lights of a ferry bound to arrive in Athens at dawn.

It is Greece’s Aegean island waters, an array of enticingly short turquoise straits lining Turkey’s coast, that have become Europe’s main gateway for illegal migrants. But the high volumes have placed a burden on Greece, a nation of only 11 million. Greece apprehended nearly 150,000 immigrants in 2008, though that number is only believed to be the tip of the iceberg.

As regional solutions have not impeded the influx of immigrants through Greece’s sea border, illegal immigrants in Greece — the number of which has increased twofold since 2006 — are entering a social system that is struggling to cope.

With the European Union in mind, the boys’ international adventure included working in the construction industry in İstanbul for nearly one month in order to raise enough money to purchase the inflatable raft they used to cross to the Greek island of Lesbos. Paddling throughout the night, exchanging posts when they tired, they were ultimately intercepted at dawn in Greek waters off of the coast of Lesbos.

“What is going on over there?” asked Haralampos Bournias, commander of the Hellenic Coast Guard on the Greek island of Chios, questioning the border control Turkey is maintaining, his head motioning in the direction of the abutting coastline of Turkey, which is visible from his office window.

A document stating the professed nationalities of detained immigrants, which was presented by an official of the coast guard of Chios, reports an overwhelming number of immigrants claiming to be Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan. But it is the more obscure nationalities, such as Somali, Bangladeshi, Zimbabwean and Burmese, that raise eyebrows as to how these immigrants are entering Turkey, now the key passageway for Europe-bound immigrants.

From Afghanistan to Greece

On the ship’s deck, an on-looking Iraqi immigrant, Umeed, who did not want to reveal his full name, shakes his head in frustration as he watches the jubilant group of Afghan boys, barely into their adolescent years, complete the last leg of their exhausting journey to Europe’s mainland.

The Afghan boys, after being processed briefly in a detention facility and issued a one-way ticket to Athens, are once again set adrift on their own.

“They will sleep in parks; there are so many like them,” Umeed said softly, denying the existence of any functional social system to handle such minors. Umeed, 28 years old, has been in Greece now for seven months. Having entered illegally as the Afghan boys did during winter, Umeed now knows the reality of the dead-end tangle of laws that lock immigrants into unwillingly calling Greece home.

According to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), Greece’s rate of granting asylum ranks as one of the lowest in the world and the lowest in the EU.

Umeed’s ambition of leaving Greece to seek work remains stalled by the fact that his fingerprints were taken when he was processed on arrival in Greece. According to the Dublin Regulation, an agreement determining which EU member state is responsible for the processing of an asylum case, an immigrant must apply for asylum in the first country of entrance in the EU. Therefore, the odds of Umeed attaining legal status are slim and returning to the violence he fled from in Iraq remains unthinkable, ensuring a life in the shadows.

According to figures released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Greece granted 0.04 percent of asylum applications for refugee status in 2007. Allegations by human rights organizations of immigrants being duped out of applying for asylum by a poor understanding of their legal rights are bountiful. Many remain idle in Greece’s to largest cities in an endless cycle of catch and release. Deportation orders are rarely enforced and shanty towns have sprawled in the large port cities.

“I don’t understand. I go to the airport to leave, and they arrest me; I stay here, and they arrest me. The police just give me a new document saying I have to leave in 30 days. I can’t move,” sighed Umeed, staring intently at his glowing cigarette.

“I have been in Athens for seven months, and I can’t find work for four months. My family in Iraq has been sending me money. I don’t know what these boys will do; they are so young,” he added.

A recent report by the UNHCR sharply criticized Greece for its detention policies and asylum processing system, urging EU nations not to return immigrants to Greece. In line with such reports, Norway and Germany have refused to exercise their right to return immigrants to Greece for asylum processing. The report also challenged Greece’s asylum system, claiming it lacked essential elements such as interpreters, lawyers and appropriate care for the nearly 1,000 unaccompanied minors that entered Greece in 2008.

In the fluttering wind of the ferry deck, the young boys inspect a white piece of paper with Greek writing on it that was issued by the Mitilini immigrant detention center in Lesbos upon their release. They ask for a translation of the only document they now possess, revealing that they are unaware of their legal situation or status, Newruz tucks the document back into a zippered pouch hidden under his shirt.

Immigration crises are nothing new in Greece, though this one has stumped Greek officials.

Greece is used to the single-source immigration issue with Albania, a former communist nation bordering northern Greece. The influx from Albania began in the early 1990s when Albania’s borders crumbled. The deportations of Albanians were quick and efficient.

Immigrant’s European dreams

Comparatively, this new frontier has become multifaceted, as immigrants from a diverse group of nations arrive without a single document in their name to confirm their identity. Immigrants reportedly crumple photographs and throw passports and other identifying documents into the sea as instructed by smugglers during their crossing. By doing so, the links to their nationalities are erased and the chances of quick deportation are minimized. “How much can we put up with?” asks Bournias, his question striking a harmonious tone with Greece’s current economic woes. In 2009 unemployment is expected to reach 9.2 percent, as reported by Greece’s National Statistical Service.

From his second-floor office window overlooking an alluring harbor, Bournias points to a smuggler’s white speed boat. The boat, anchored below Bournias’ office window, has its name neatly hidden with tape. The smuggler is now in jail, intercepted the previous night for shuttling more than 20 immigrants from Turkey’s coast to Greece. The high-paying jaunt across the short stretches, usually led by what Bournias calls “the lowest links of society,” can make an immigrant’s European dreams a reality in just minutes. The people organizing the smuggling operations, often acting behind the scenes, earn over $1,000 per person for passage to Greece. Bournias claims the poverty-driven smugglers rarely understand the severity of their actions. He estimates the smuggler detained last night will be sentenced to six to seven years in jail. Officials claim such light sentences are hardly enough to deter the lucrative East to West industry, which Bournias claims is worth $8 billion annually.

Journey to hope

Resolving Europe’s immigration issue is a maddening puzzle and one that has defied solution. A regional lag in cooperation between nations has also been compounded by what officials say is the fact that Turkey has not recognized an accord to take back immigrants who left Turkey. Bournias calls for better cooperation in sea patrols with Turkey, though he questions if Turkey is eager to process illegal immigrants.

According to Tafil, a 39-year-old Albanian man who was once an illegal immigrant in Greece, the new wave of migrants are simply following the path his people have already paved. “When you are hungry, nothing matters; you will do anything,” said Tafil, his skin darkened by the sun, now working construction on the island of Chios. He expresses no surprise at the measures people are taking to reach Europe; their reasons for coming are often as complex as the immigration issue itself. “I walked across the border in snow. I didn’t even have money to buy clothes to wear, so I came wearing my military uniform,” said Tafil. Settled in Greece for nearly two decades, his family now owns a clothing store in Albania. He has been sending his wages to Albania, and according to Tafil, it is such wages that have rebuilt a broken nation.

“My son is 16; he will go to university in Albania and find a job. There is no need for him to do the same as me. These new immigrants will do the same; they will work hard,” he added.

A warm summer wind blows over the ferry deck and aspirations rise as mainland Europe is only hours away. “I want to be a politician; I know the problems of Afghanistan. I will fix them,” said Newruz, explaining the contents of his only piece of baggage, a supermarket plastic bag containing a notebook documenting his life in Afghanistan and his international journey.

Reality is revealed by the rising sun in Athens. As the Afghan boys peer nervously over the ship’s railings, the ferry elegantly glides between two large cruise ships in Athens’ port. The previous night’s jubilant smiles on the ship deck are now dimmed as they inspect the first sights of mainland Europe, a place they have voyaged so far to reach. “Do you know what is the meaning of my name?” asked Newruz, “It means new day.”

The organizers must go

As night fell in 2001, “Filozof” found himself at the controls of a large ship. Under the deck were 640 immigrants — children, the elderly, pregnant women and entire families — paying more than $1,000 per person for illegal passage from Turkey’s coast to Greece’s mainland.

But for Filozof, the nickname of a Turk living in İstanbul who asked to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation for speaking to the press, this voyage was something his situation bound him to do. In 2001 his small diving vessel, used to collect snails from Turkey’s Marmara seabed, sank. Filozof lost his livelihood, and his debts mounted.

Filozof recalls falling for the enticing promises of the smuggling organizers, who, he says, still linger at his port, seeking to recruit naïve seamen. But after four years in a Greek prison, Filozof is drained. His $5,000 paycheck never came, and his contact disappeared after the ship docked in a closed cement factory on Greece’s mainland. “I was tricked; I was lied to,” he says in frustration while sitting in an empty cafe at an İstanbul port.

“The solution to the problem is not taking out the little people like us. Like in a war, you cannot just kill everybody; it is the leaders that must go. These big organizers need to go; if they do, then this job wouldn’t exist,” he said.

Crossing into Greek waters, what should have been an eight-hour journey to Greece’s mainland was a two-day trial made up of close calls, including helicopter flyovers and a near boarding by a coast guard ship. In constant contact with someone in Athens by telephone, Filozof recalled receiving orders to maneuver behind islands, waiting for coast guard patrols to return to port, only to proceed with his vessel to the next safe zone when the green light was given by his distant contact.

“I tell everybody I know to not take these jobs. I tell them it is not like what they are told: Their chances of getting caught are high, Greek jail is terrible and you will never get paid, but I cannot tell everybody. That is why it continues,” said Filozof.

For months, a group of 12 and 13-year-old boys evaded police, skirted payment on buses and hustled for the sympathy of border guards — not carrying a passport or a single identifying document — as they trekked overland from Afghanistan to Turkey.

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Emigrating Afghans…

Posted by clandestina on 4 June 2009

This is a report on the increase in the rates of immigration from Afghanistan, after so many years of humanistic war.  This is also about the effects that Fortress Europe on the victims of this war: they have to pay much more to smugglers to tranfer them to the west (source).

AFGHANISTAN: Sharp rise in attempted illegal migration to Europe

KABUL, 4 June 2009 (IRIN) – Azizullah Ahmadi told IRIN in Kabul how his son Majid, aged 25, paid US$10,000 to a smuggler to take him to a European country where he wanted to start a better life. But his son drowned in the Mediterranean before reaching Greece in 2008.

“He was very disappointed here [in Afghanistan] and believed Europe would give him a prosperous life,” Ahmadi said, adding that his son had borrowed a lot of money for the trip.

Facing unemployment, insecurity and lack of socio-economic opportunities at home, many Afghans, mostly young males, have increasingly resorted to costly and perilous illegal migration to European and other industrialized countries.

Over 18,000 Afghan asylum-seekers were registered in 44 industrialized states in 2008 – a significant increase on previous years, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“With 18,500 asylum applications submitted by Afghans in 2008, the number is at its highest since 2002 [29,400] and is almost double the figure of the year before [10,000],” said a UNHCR report entitled Asylum levels and trends in industrialized countries in 2008.

“The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan is likely to be the main reason, along with lack of economic opportunities,” Ron Redmond, a UNHCR spokesman in Geneva, told IRIN.

Some 80,000-85,000 Afghans applied for asylum in 2000-2001 but their numbers dropped significantly after a new US-backed government, which had inspired hope for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, was established in 2002.

Smuggling by air – more expensive

Illegal migration and human trafficking from the least developed countries to Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia have become more and more difficult and costly in the past seven years, largely because of stringent border controls.

“Before 9/11 smugglers were taking people by air to any European country for $8,000-10,000, but now prices have increased to $25,000-30,000 per person,” said Naqibullah (who only gave his first name), a local travel agent who also acts as an agent for illegal migrants.

However, nothing seems to be deterring some Afghans, mostly young males, who still pay thousands of dollars to smugglers and/or take the riskiest routes to get to their sought-after destinations.

On 29 May a ship carrying over a dozen of Afghan migrants from Indonesia to Australia capsized near Sumatra. Nine passengers were killed and 11 others were missing, Associated Press reported.

Migrants face trials and tribulations of all kinds: Some end up in prisons and/or border detention centres and reportedly have experienced serious physical and mental violence.

Popular destinations

The UK appeared to be the most popular European Union (EU) destination, with 3,730 Afghan applicants seeking asylum in 2008, according to the Statistical Office of the European Commission. Turkey, Italy and Greece were the next most popular, according to the UNHCR report on asylum levels in industrialized countries.

About 12,600 Afghans sought asylum in EU countries in 2008 – the fifth largest group after Iraqis, Russians, Somalis and Serbs.

By contrast, the USA only had 72 Afghan asylum-seekers in 2008. Fewer still migrated illegally to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, apparently because of the cost of getting there (about $35,000 to fly to Canada) and/or geography.

Plea not to deport Afghans

It is unclear how many of the 18,500 Afghan asylum-seekers were granted protection in developed countries in 2008.

However, of the 240,000 asylum applicants (5 percent of them Afghans) registered in 27 EU member countries in 2008, at least 141,730 (73 percent) were rejected and only 24,425 applicants (13 percent) were granted refugee status, according to a statement by the Statistical Office of the European Commission.

At least 560 Afghans whose asylum applications were rejected in EU member countries were forced back to Afghanistan in 2008, according to the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees (MoRR). In addition, over 545 unsuccessful applicants voluntarily returned to Afghanistan from the EU last year.

“The situation in Afghanistan is not suitable and we call on European and other countries not to forcefully deport Afghan refugees,” Noor Mohammad Haidari, a senior MoRR adviser, told IRIN, adding that the government had requested all host countries to treat Afghans based on the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

MoRR estimates about 500,000 Afghan refugees live in EU countries and over three million in Pakistan and Iran.

Below is a report on the country’s economic situation some months ago (before the harsch winter).  source

Afghanistan: 20 Million People Under the Line of Poverty

Official statistics show that Afghanistan has the highest level of poverty among the South-Asian countries.Afghanistan is now one of the poorest countries on the planet. It takes its place among desperate, destitute nations like Burkina Faso and Somalia whenever any international organization bothers to measure. The official unemployment rate, last calculated in 2005, was 40% percent.

On the basis of the official statistics, the level of poverty in Afghanistan is thirty to forty percent and around 20 million of Afghanistan are living under the line of poverty.

According to recent estimates, it may today reach as high as 80% in some parts of the country.The UN has named the 17th of October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Different organizations hold programs every year to put an end to poverty in the world.

But the government of Afghanistan, despite the support of the International Community, has not been able to do something considerable for decreasing poverty.

Governmental authorities say that the shortage of food on one hand and drought in the past few years in several regions of Afghanistan on the other hand, have increased the intensity of poverty in Afghanistan.

“Urgent need for food”

Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the United Nations mission in Kabul, says that presently millions of people all over Afghanistan are in urgent need of food.

As said by Mr. Edwards, “The human conditions in Afghanistan are very serious. Continuous insecurity, drought and booming food prices on the world level are the main cause for the emergence of this situation but the condition in the future months is not tangible. There is no doubt that people are in dire need of food.”

Authorities in Afghanistan say that measures have been taken to prevent the spreading out of poverty in the country but according to experts these measures have not been effective.

Experts say that the absence of a proper program regarding the prevention of poverty and lack of attention to the superstructure of past years have brought about poverty and unemployment to many Afghans.

The tension for the rise of poverty in Afghanistan has increased in circumstances where drought and unemployment have greatly affected the lives of the people and have created scores of problems for them.

The coming of the winter season has concerned many people in this country.

Abdul Jamil, one of the residents of Kabul said that he has no job and that the approaching winter has greatly worried him.

Baz Mohammad, an employee of the National Bank of Afghanistan said that his monthly earnings is not enough for the expenses of his family and doesn’t know how he will overcome the difficulties of the cold in the winter.

This year the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is being celebrated with the slogan of “Stand Up and Take Action against Poverty”. Different sources agree that the abolishment of poverty needs the united struggle of all the poor as well as rich countries of the world.

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