More than 250,000 Afghan refugees repatriated this year: UNOctober 7th, 2008 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS
Kabul, Oct 7 (Xinhua) More than a quarter million Afghan refugees, mostly from Pakistan, have returned to their country so far this year with the support of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), a statement of the body released here Tuesday said. “Since January this year, UNHCR has assisted a total of 251,880 registered Afghans to repatriate from the neighbouring Pakistan and Iran,” the statement said.
It noted that 248,951 refugees have returned from Pakistan and another 2,929, from Iran.
The UNHCR would provide a cash of $100 to each person returning to Afghanistan.
Over five million Afghans have gone back home since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, of which more than 4.3 million, mostly from Pakistan, have been repatriated with UNHCR’s assistance, the statesmen added.
In the light of a UN policy, the UNHCR-assisted voluntary repatriation operation from Pakistan to Afghanistan will be temporarily suspended at the end of October for the annual winter break and would be resumed in March 2009.
Over three million Afghan refugees with some two million in Pakistan and more than one million in the neighbouring countries of Iran and Tajikistan reportedly have yet to return to their homeland.