300,000 Afghan refugees have returned home so far this year with UN help

29 July 2003
Refugees returning from Pakistan's Katcha Garhi camp

The United Nations refugee agency has helped more than 300,000 Afghans return home from Pakistan and Iran so far this year, but the rate is far below last year’s unprecedented flow, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

The United Nations refugee agency has helped more than 300,000 Afghans return home from Pakistan and Iran so far this year, but the rate is far below last year’s unprecedented flow, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

Together with refugees who spontaneously repatriated, the total so far is more than 350,000 out of the 2.3 million estimated to be in both countries at the beginning of the year, spokesman Kris Janowski told a briefing in Geneva.

Returns have averaged more than 20,000 a week since May, compared with more than 20,000 a day in May last year. Overall in 2002, more than 1.8 million repatriated with assistance from UNHCR and its humanitarian partners.

Each returning family receives a UNHCR aid package and food from the UN World Food Programme (WFP). This year, UNHCR plans to provide 60,000 housing repair kits to Afghans going home with its assistance. Already, more than 12,700 families have begun work using their UNHCR shelter construction kits.

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.