More Afghans return home under UNHCR repatriation plan

More Afghans return home under UNHCR repatriation plan

Close to 11,000 Afghans have returned home from Pakistan since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began a voluntary repatriation programme six weeks ago, UN officials said today.

According to the Office of the UN Coordinator for Afghanistan, 2,300 Afghans were repatriated from Pakistan last week. Since 3 July, a total of 37 convoys have ferried the returnees to their villages of origin - 23 from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and 14 from Baluchistan.

The convoys leave from Pakistan four times a week to relatively stable destinations in southern, central and eastern Afghanistan. All the convoys are escorted by UNHCR, which provides an aid package consisting of a 6,000 rupees ($90) cash grant, one plastic sheet per family and 150 kilogrammes of wheat distributed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP).