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Pakistan: 2,300 more Afghans repatriated

Briefing notes

Pakistan: 2,300 more Afghans repatriated

17 August 2001

Another 2,300 Afghans repatriated from Pakistan this week, bringing to nearly 11,000 the number of persons who have returned to Afghanistan since the start of UNHCR's voluntary repatriation programme six weeks ago.

Since 3 July, a total of 37 convoys from Pakistan have ferried the returnees to their villages of origin in Afghanistan, 23 movements from North West Frontier Province and 14 convoys from Baluchistan. The convoys leave from Pakistan about four times weekly to relatively stable destinations in southern, central and eastern Afghanistan. All the convoys to Afghanistan are escorted by UNHCR staff.

UNHCR provides an aid package to repatriating Afghans consisting of a cash grant of 6,000 rupees (US$90), a plastic tarpaulin and 150 kgs of wheat distributed by the World Food Programme. Six centres have been established inside Afghanistan at Spin-Boldak, Lashkargah, Kandahar in the south, Jalalabad and Khost in the east and in Kabul, which provide assistance to the returnees.

Sixty-five percent of the Afghan refugees originating from North West Province, the province with the largest concentration of Afghan refugees in the world, have returned to villages in the eastern region of Nangarhar and the central region of Kabul. From Pakistan's Baluchistan Province, 75 percent of the refugees have returned to the Kandahar region and 25 percent have repatriated to the neighbouring Helmand region.

Pakistan shelters some two million Afghans.