UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation programme for Afghan refugees resumed

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has resumed its voluntary repatriation programme for registered Afghan refugees on Monday (today) after a three-month winter break.

The voluntary repatriation operations had been suspended for the winter period from 1 December 2019 until 1 March 2020.

UNHCR will facilitate repatriation from the voluntary repatriation centre at Azakhel, Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, operations at the voluntary repatriation centre Baleli, Quetta will likely be resumed next week.

The Proof of Registration card allows Afghan refugees the right to temporary legal stay in Pakistan.

“As voluntary repatriation is a preferred solution for Afghan refugees, it must be voluntary, safe, dignified and well-informed,” said Mr. Iain Hall, UNHCR Deputy Representative in Pakistan.

Mr. Hall acknowledged and appreciated the people and government of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for more than four decades.

UNHCR provides approximately USD200 to every registered individual upon their return to Afghanistan. Returnees receive the cash grant at UNHCR encashment centres in Afghanistan.

Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees who are holding Proof of Registration (PoR) cards. Some 4.4 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan under the UNHCR-facilitated voluntary repatriation programme since 2002.

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