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Pakistan: Killi Faizo Afghans relocated inland

Briefing notes

Pakistan: Killi Faizo Afghans relocated inland

18 January 2002

Over the last two days, UNHCR has relocated more than 2,600 newly arrived Afghan refugees from the Killi Faizo site at Pakistan's border with southern Afghanistan to new camps further inland from the frontier. The relocation convoys shifting the more than 13,000 new refugees from the transit site at Chaman will resume Saturday following today's holy day.

Together with our partner agencies, we are now caring for more than 120,000 Afghan refugees in 15 new sites in Pakistan. UNHCR oversees 12 of the new camps and two transit centres, while the United Arab Emirates' Red Crescent runs one site. The majority of the new camps are in Pakistan's southern Balochistan Province, where we assist more than 83,200 new Afghan refugees who have arrived since September. UNHCR cares for 38,390 new Afghan refugees in NWFP.

On Thursday, we opened our sixth new camp - Ashgro - in Pakistan's rugged North West Frontier Province with the transfer of more than 800 refugees from the makeshift Jalozai site near Peshawar. Ashgro is located some 350 km east of Peshawar.

Inside Afghanistan, UNHCR staff returned to the southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday. They found our office trashed and looted. Security remains precarious in Kandahar, and our people are largely confined to the office for the time being. Initially, we hope to assist some 4,000 families - about 20,000 people - in the Kandahar area with the provision of various relief items.

This weekend, HCR staff are scheduled to travel to Spin Boldak, opposite the Pakistani frontier town of Chaman, to survey the situation and hopefully to reopen our field office there. Tens of thousands of displaced Afghans were camped at several makeshift sites near Spin Boldak late last year, and it's from there that we think more than 13,000 people have recently fled into Pakistan due to the lack of aid and the precarious security situation in the border town.

UNHCR's local staff also returned this week to our field office at Zaranj, to the east of Kandahar. An international staff member is waiting in the nearby Iranian town of Zahedan for authorisation to return.