The crisis in Afghanistan has escalated to a new level of urgency, the outgoing head of the International Red Cross said Sunday, citing a record number of civilian casualties and evacuations of war wounded.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Jean-Nicolas Marti said the drawdown of NATO forces has led to a rise in fighting.
The Red Cross says the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit a record high for the seventh consecutive year in 2015, with more than 11,000 innocent men, women and children killed or wounded, Reuters reports.
Marti told The Telegraph that in 2015, the number of war wounded grew by 30 percent from the year before. The 2016 total is expected to exceed the 2015 figure before the summer “fighting season” begins.
Meanwhile, Afghans make up the second largest group of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe behind Syrians, as an estimated one million people have been displaced in the conflict, Reuters reports.