Afghans displaced by the ongoing fighting between the Taliban and government forces have fled to Kabul and other large cities for safety, with some renting accommodations, many staying with family and friends, while others camping in the open, a UN spokesman said.

"Due to the conflict that we're seeing across the country, many people are arriving in Kabul and other large cities, trying to seek safety for themselves and for their families," Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying.

The US and its humanitarian partners have verified 10,350 internally displaced people arriving in Kabul since July 1 till date, Dujarric said. UN humanitarians have provided food, health, household items, and water and sanitation assistance to some 6,900 displaced men, women and children in Kabul.

Afghan refugees
People are seen at a displaced person camp in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province, Afghanistan, on July 22, 2021. (Photo by Kawa Basharat/Xinhua/IANS)IANS

Amid reports of the Taliban capturing several provincial capitals, the spokesman said he could only speak on humanitarian operations, not in advances or losses in the fighting.

"We're evaluating, literally on an hour-by-hour basis, the security situation, both in Kabul and in other locations," he said. "There is no evacuation of UN staff going on."

In one province, Kunar, in eastern Afghanistan, since July 25, tens of thousands of people have been displaced by escalating conflict, Dujarric said. Some 14,000 internally displaced people are eligible to receive aid.

UN provides food aid 

The UN and partners distributed food to almost 4,000 people in Kunar, he said. About 3,900 people received emergency shelter and relief, including kitchen sets. Mobile teams provide essential health and nutrition services.

The UN Refugee Agency said it is particularly worried about the impact of the conflict on women and girls, the spokesman said. Since May, women and children make up about 80 per cent of the nearly 250,000 Afghans forced to flee their homes.

Earlier, Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said on Twitter she is deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and noted that yet again, civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence.

She said that one thing is clear from the country's recent history, military action will not achieve durable peace and development.

(With inputs from agencies)