Following the end of the chaotic evacuations at Kabul airport, the exodus has already begun. Tens of thousands of Afghans are already concentrated on the country’s borders with their neighbors – especially those that lead to Iran and Pakistan – to flee from the Taliban after they took control of Afghanistan after the disbandment of the US and its allies and the former Afghan regular army.
“A huge number of people are waiting on the Afghan side of the border for us to open the door,” a Pakistani border guard told Reuters. These tens of thousands are in addition to the nearly 120,000 Afghans who were able to leave Kabul on evacuation planes from NATO countries . But these flight figures are small compared to what may happen in the coming weeks and months. The UN estimates that up to half a million Afghans will try to flee their country in the remainder of the year.
“In quantitative terms, we expect to see about 500,000 new refugees in the region. This is the worst scenario we are seeing, even though we have not seen a massive influx of Afghans so far . The situation inside Afghanistan is evolving much faster than it is. nobody expected, ” Kelly Clements , the UN High Commissioner for refugees , said this week .
This flow, however, is already on the horizon. In recent days, the vast majority of Afghan cities have been filled with flea markets in which locals sell all or almost all of their belongings: from tables and chairs to televisions, cabinets, pots, cutlery and shelves .
With the banks closed with huge lines at their doors to get the money – the goal of the Afghans who sell it all is clear: either to protect themselves from the humanitarian crisis looming over an Afghanistan ruled by the Taliban and isolated from the world or , directly, to get as much money as possible to be able to pay for the escape route .