250,000 Afghan refugees return home after decades

Difficult conditions in Pakistan has meant Afghan refugees have returned in droves this year

250,000 Afghan refugees return home after decades

World Bulletin / News Desk

A quarter of a million Afghan refugees have returned to the country this year, according to the International Organization for Migration. 

More than 140,000 undocumented and 114,000 documented refugees had returned, mostly from Pakistan, by Sep. 10 according to figures released Monday by the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 

This comes as the U.N. issued an emergency appeal for $152 million to support returning refugees. 

The influx has been prompted by mounting pressure and persecution in Pakistan that has forced thousands to return after decades abroad, while the Islamabad government has also set a March 2017 deadline for their repatriation. 

Many chose to return before the harsh winter, which is a concern for the Afghan government and aid agencies as many of the refugees will be unaccustomed to the winter conditions in Afghan refugee camps after having lived in Pakistan's relatively warmer climate.

In the long term, providing housing, health, food and education to this large group of repatriated families is also expected to test the Kabul government's abilities.

OCHA noted Monday that donors including Belgium, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK have indicated their willingness to support activities included in the $152 million appeal.

 Besides these repatriated refugees, the Afghan government also has to cope with 263,300 internally displaced persons that have been forced to flee their homes due to ongoing violence in parts of the country.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Eylül 2016, 14:35