KABUL — Amid daily battles between government forces and Taliban insurgents, the number of Afghans who have fled their homes to other parts of the country has doubled since 2013 to 1.2 million people, according to a report released Tuesday by Amnesty International.
With the fighting concentrated in the provinces where the Taliban is strong, most of the displaced have sought safety in Kabul and other cities, stretching local resources at a time when international funding is falling, the report said.
Underscoring the message of the report, Taliban fighters in Kunduz province pulled over several passenger buses and took 190 people hostage — killing 10 on the spot, execution-style, officials said Tuesday.
In the first four months of 2016 alone, 118,000 people fled their homes because of violence, according to the report.
Combined with the thousands of Afghan refugees who have been forced to return to the country after fleeing to Europe, the mass migration is draining government resources, said Olof Blomqvist, an Amnesty International researcher focusing on South Asia.
“There’s less food available, less job opportunities available, there’s less aid available,” he said.
The report, “My Children Will Die This Winter,” is part of a push by international aid groups to secure more funding during a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit to be held in Brussels in October. The summit will address requests for $3 billion in additional aid for Afghanistan reconstruction through 2020.
Amnesty International and other international groups say the Afghan government is not equipped to help people fleeing those dangers.
Because of poor resources and some instances of corruption inside the country’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, a 2014 Afghan law meant to provide land and other types of aid to the internally displaced has been largely ineffective, the report said.
Meanwhile, residents in illegal encampments in Kabul, Herat and other cities live without access to electricity, water and other basic resources.
“There are negligible funds and limited understanding of how to best support internally displaced persons beyond the initial round of emergency assistance,” said William Carter, of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which offers aid to the displaced in Afghanistan.
Residents in illegal encampments throughout Afghanistan often face eviction by government agencies or local strongmen who want to seize the land, Carter said.
In Kabul, several hundred displaced families from all over the country live in the Chaman-e-Babrak settlement on what used to be an athletic field.
Last year, men in military-style uniforms arrived with bulldozers and tore down the makeshift homes.
When the residents protested, the men and local police began firing on the residents, killing two people.
Raz Mohammad, 36, moved to Chaman-e-Babrak with his wife and their six children about seven years ago. The couple fled to Pakistan from their native Parwan province in central Afghanistan after the Taliban began its five-year reign in 1996. When they returned, there were no jobs in Parwan, so they made the trip to Kabul.
The makeshift village has no electricity or running water, Mohammad said, but it is now their home.
“Our families are all living in those houses,” he said. ”We don’t have anywhere else to go.”
Mohammad Sharif contributed to this report.