afghan girls
Internally displaced Afghan girls look out from their shelter at a refugee camp in Kabul (File Picture) Reuters

Approximately 1.2 million people are displaced internally in Afghanistan, a sharp increase from the 500,000 in 2013, a report by Amnesty International has revealed. People who fled violence and are trapped in the country, live on the brink of survival, the report said.

Afghans make up one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with around 2.6 million living beyond the country's borders. The report has claimed that the government of Afghanistan failed to deliver the National policy on internally displaced persons (IDPs), which was introduced in 2014.

The policy outlines the responsibility of the government to provide emergency assistance, long-term support and protection to IDPs in Afghanistan. The situation for those who are internally displaced has worsened as no food, water, medicine, shelter, healthcare or employment opportunities are available for them.

Corruption and lack of will and capacity by the government are a few reasons why the policy never got off the ground. Moreover, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation lacks the expertise and resources to implement a nationwide policy, Amnesty said.

However, the ministry rejected the claims. Hafiz Ahmad Miakhel, an advisor to the ministry said, "The government has provided humanitarian assistance and shelter to 65 percent of 1 million people who have fled violence. Our next challenge is lack of budget,I also can't say the ministry isn't corrupt at all. We've been fighting against this plague."

However, Champa Patel, South Asia director for Amnesty International was of the view, "While the world's attention seems to have moved on from Afghanistan, we risk forgetting the plight of those left behind by the conflict." She added, "Even after fleeing their homes to seek safety, increasing numbers of Afghans are languishing in appalling conditions in their own country, and fighting for their survival with no end in sight."

Afghanistan's IDPs live in makeshift homes that offer little shelter in freezing winters and hot summers. "Even an animal would not live in this hut but we have to... I would prefer to be in prison rather than in this place, at least in prison I would not have to worry about food and shelter." Mastan, a 50-year-old woman who lives in Minarets camp in Heart was quoted as saying.

"Afghanistan and the world must act now to end the country's displacement crisis, before it is too late." Patel stressed.