UNHCR Resumes Voluntary Repatriation for Afghan Refugees from Pakistan

The UN refugee agency’s voluntary repatriation programme for registered Afghan refugees resumed on Friday after the winter break.

The voluntary repatriation operation had been suspended for the winter period from 1 December 2018 until 28 February 2019.

UNHCR will facilitate repatriation from the voluntary repatriation centres at Azakhel, Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baleli, Quetta in Balochistan.

Pakistan continues to host 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees who are holding Proof of Registration (PoR) cards. Around 4.4 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan under the UNHCR-facilitated voluntary repatriation programme since 2002. The Proof of Registration card allows Afghan refugees the right to temporary legal stay in Pakistan.

“While voluntary repatriation is a preferred solution for the majority of Afghan refugees, it needs to be well-informed, voluntary, safe and dignified,” said Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan.

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