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Moderate refugee return from Pakistan expected in 2018

Moderate refugee return from Pakistan expected in 2018

Nov 17, 2017 - 11:47

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The return of Afghan refugees to their homeland is expected to remain modest next year, says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
But despite the slow pace of return, the UN refugee agency said it could not reduce the impact that the 2018 general elections in Pakistaninfo-icon might have on Afghan refugees.
In a statement, UNHCR said the refugee-affected and hosting areas (RAHA) programme will continue to support host communities and promote peaceful coexistence. 
A multi-year regional framework, SSAR seeks solutions for Afghan refugees living in a protracted situation. It offers a comprehensive and integrated framework for joint interventions aimed at facilitating voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration.
More than 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. The number of refugees returning from the country declined from 370,000 in 2016 to around 50,000 in the first three quarters of 2017.
In Pakistan, the UNHCR expects to disengage from its protection cluster responsibilities in relation to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 2018, after building the capacity of the authorities.
The protracted Afghan refugee situations in Iran and Pakistan need long-term solutions, with a focus on the creation of conditions conducive to voluntary repatriation to Afghanistaninfo-icon and support for refugee-hosting communities.
In mid-2017, a delegation of 160 Afghan refugees travelled from Pakistan to Afghanistan to advocate for measures to be taken to ensure return is sustainable, including in relation to land, employment, shelter, healthinfo-icon and educationinfo-icon
In 2018, data from the UNHCR’s protection-based monitoring in Afghanistan will continue to help address protection issues in the country, support the transition between humanitarian assistance and development work, and inform government-led reintegration activities.


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