9/2/21 The decision to withdraw U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan and the subsequent abrupt takeover by the Taliban have triggered profound concerns among Afghans, who fear for the future under the Taliban’s rule. Internationally, one key concern is that a major refugee crisis may be imminent, which could swell the numbers of Afghans previously displaced within and beyond the country’s borders during prior decades of war. Already this year, more than 558,000 Afghans have been displaced internally. Under a worst-case scenario, an estimated 515,000 refugees could be forced out of the country by the end of this year. Future flight would add to the existing 2.8 million Afghan refugees and asylum seekers around the world, who have long been among the planet’s largest humanitarian populations.

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