Humanitarian aid for the population of Northern Afghanistan amounts to just $50 a month per a family of seven. Of the 14,000 refugee families in Northern Afghanistan, only 3,000 occupy tents, while the rest are forced to reside in the so-called open-air refugee camps. According to Mohammad Zahir, secretary with the Haji Bahauddin-based International Organisation for Technical Cooperation and Development in Afghanistan, the aid consists of a monthly 50 kg of flour, 6 kg of vegetable fat and 4 kg of sugar. Even this meagre amount of food is often delayed. In their turn, municipal authorities describe the living conditions of the 14,000-odd refugee families inhabiting the Northern Afghan province of Takhar as "horrendous." Likewise, the journalists who travelled to one of these camps situated on the outskirts of Haji Bahauddin on Sunday were shocked by the sight of more than 400 refugee families, each consisting of 5-8 people, living in the open with their scarce belongings stacked beside them in the dust and standing huge queues to get food and medical supplies.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969