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Progress in Afghan refugee screening

News Stories, 11 September 2001

The need to move refugees from Jalozai is pressing.

ISLAMABAD, Sept 11 (UNHCR) Joint UNHCR/Pakistan screening teams at the makeshift Jalozai site and Nasir Bagh refugee camp in north-west Pakistan have processed more than 1,000 cases of Afghans seeking protection in Pakistan. Teams comprising 55 screeners have completed 739 cases, determining whether the Afghans qualify for refugee status and can remain in Pakistan under an agreement between UNHCR and the government of Pakistan. Of the 739 cases completed so far, 519 have been accepted, 148 have been rejected, and 59 have opted for voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan.

So far, a total of 1,733 accepted Afghans from Jalozai have moved to the better-equipped New Shamshatoo refugee camp. UNHCR has provided the refugees with tents, groundsheets, jerry cans, buckets, kitchen sets, washing powder and soap. They will also receive food assistance from the World Food Programme.

The screening process involves a first registration stage to collect basic data and determine whether the Afghans wish to be considered for refugee status in Pakistan. This is followed by a full-fledged refugee status determination procedure for those seeking protection. On September 10, the joint team registered another 1,530 Afghan families in Nasir Bagh refugee camp Of this group, 1,419 families decided to return home, while 111 families choose to seek protection in Pakistan. Since the beginning of the screening exercise on August 6, the screeners have processed 22,559 families altogether at both sites. Some 14,675 families have been registered and will be interviewed to determine their refugee status, while 7,884 families have opted to repatriate to Afghanistan.

UNHCR and the Pakistani Commissioner for Afghan Refugees have agreed to establish 14 review teams in Jalozai and 10 in Nasir Bagh. The review teams will deal with appeals and unresolved cases.




UNHCR country pages

Afghanistan: Rebuilding a War-Torn Country

The cycle of life has started again in Afghanistan as returnees put their shoulders to the wheel to rebuild their war-torn country.

Return is only the first step on Afghanistan's long road to recovery. UNHCR is helping returnees settle back home with repatriation packages, shelter kits, mine-awareness training and vaccination against diseases. Slowly but surely, Afghans across the land are reuniting with loved ones, reconstructing homes, going back to school and resuming work. A new phase in their lives has begun.

Watch the process of return, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconstruction unfold in Afghanistan through this gallery.

Afghanistan: Rebuilding a War-Torn Country

Rebuilding Lives in Afghanistan

With elections scheduled in October, 2004 is a crucial year for the future of Afghanistan, and Afghans are returning to their homeland in record numbers. In the first seven months of 2004 alone, more than half a million returned from exile. In all, more than 3.6 million Afghans have returned since UNHCR's voluntary repatriation programme started in 2002.

The UN refugee agency and its partner organisations are working hard to help the returnees rebuild their lives in Afghanistan. Returnees receive a grant to cover basic needs, as well as access to medical facilities, immunisations and landmine awareness training.

UNHCR's housing programme provides tool kits and building supplies for families to build new homes where old ones have been destroyed. The agency also supports the rehabilitation of public buildings as well as programmes to rehabilitate the water supply, vocational training and cash-for-work projects.

Rebuilding Lives in Afghanistan

The Reality of Return in Afghanistan

Beyond the smiles of homecoming lie the harsh realities of return. With more than 5 million Afghans returning home since 2002, Afghanistan's absorption capacity is reaching saturation point.

Landmine awareness training at UNHCR's encashment centres – their first stop after returning from decades in exile – is a sombre reminder of the immense challenges facing this war-torn country. Many returnees and internally displaced Afghans are struggling to rebuild their lives. Some are squatting in tents in the capital, Kabul. Basic needs like shelter, land and safe drinking water are seldom met. Jobs are scarce, and long queues of men looking for work are a common sight in marketplaces.

Despite the obstacles, their spirit is strong. Returning Afghans – young and old, women and men – seem determined to do their bit for nation building, one brick at a time.

Posted on 31 January 2008

The Reality of Return in Afghanistan

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Croatia: Sunday Train Arrivals

On Sunday a train of 1800 refugees and migrants made their way north from the town of Tovarnik on Croatia's Serbian border. They disembarked at Cakovec just south of Slovenia. Most of the people are Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi. Their route to Western Europe has been stalled due to the closing of Hungarian borders. Now the people have changed their path that takes through Slovenia. Croatia granted passage to over 10,000 refugees this weekend. Croatian authorities asked Slovenia to take 5000 refugees and migrants per day. Slovenia agreed to take half that number. More than a thousand of desperate people are being backed up as result, with more expected to arrive later Monday.
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Afghanistan Needs Your Support

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Croatia; Destination Unknown