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Afghan Internally Displaced Persons | by United Nations Photo
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Afghan Internally Displaced Persons

Maslakh (Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs) Camp is named after a once thriving business (Maslakh translates as slaughterhouse). Situated near the western Afghan city of Herat, it is home to more than 350,000 displaced Afghans according to the official count from the time of Taliban rule.

However, international aid organizations conducting a survey of the camp estimate that there may be only around 150,000 inhabitants, but it is certainly the largest such camp inside Afghanistan and among the largest in the world. A new count to determine the exact number of inhabitants is underway to better determine humanitarian needs. A vast camp of mud huts and tents under the Afghan mountains, Maslakh's temperature plunges below zero at night. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the coordinating agency for humanitarian aid to displaced people in western Afghanistan. World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF are delivering food, blankets, clothing, stoves, and other items to Maslakh's desperately poor population.

A young resident of the Maslakh Camp waits in line outside of the kitchen for the wet feeding project funded by the WFP and implemented by the NGO Hewad Reconstruction Services (HRS).

Photo ID 307847. 02/02/2002. Herat, Afghanistan. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

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Taken on November 12, 2009