UN Warns of Humanitarian Disaster in Afghanistan

October 12, 2001

Pre-dawn attacks on Kabul this morning ushered in a sixth day of raids against Afghanistan. US war planes attacked targets around Kabul and the Taliban’s main stronghold of Kandahar. US officials said that B-52 and B-1 bombers had targeted Taliban troops with cluster bombs. The bombing is causing a flow of refugees to continue streaming toward the Pakistani border.

One humanitarian group issued a press release yesterday stating that "The humanitarian relief effort in Afghanistan must be placed at the top of the Allies agenda–if massive loss of life is to be averted."

The United Nations refugee agency said yesterday that demonstrations in Pakistan against military action in neighboring Afghanistan were seriously hampering relief efforts.

And the World Food Programme (WFP) announced today it is nowhere near close to having enough aid in place in Afghanistan to feed the seven million people in dire need of help.

With the onset of Afghanistan’s bitter winter and heavy snows just weeks away, the potential for a humanitarian catastrophe is growing.


  • Yusuf Hassen, UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Pakistan.