The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged the Taliban and all other parties involved in the Afghanistan conflict to exercise “utmost restraint” in order to protect the lives of Afghans and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that “the United Nations remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need,” the Associated Press reported.

The UN humanitarian office assured that the members of the humanitarian community, both from the UN and the non-governmental organizations working on the ground, remain committed to helping the millions of Afghans who are in need of assistance and are staying in the country despite the “highly complex” security environment.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also known as OCHA, said in a statement on Sunday that over 550,000 people were already in need of assistance before more than 550,000 people were displaced by conflict this year, a figure that has doubled since May, according to the Associated Press inputs.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has estimated that more than 550,000 people in Afghanistan have fled their homes due to the conflict since the start of 2021.

A situational update published on Sunday by Geneva-based UNHCR shows about 126,000 people were displaced in the previous month to August 9, the most recent date for which figures are available, the Associated Press reported.

UNHCR said that while the situation inside Afghanistan is fluid, “for now the displacement is largely internal.”