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June 28, 2015

Pakistan hosting 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees: UNHCR

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June 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is hosting almost 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees which is still the largest protracted refugee population globally, said an official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
An official of UNHCR said that since 2002 the UNHCR had facilitated the return of 3.8 million registered Afghans from Pakistan. He said that the efforts to address the needs of Afghan refugees and their host communities, and to advance durable solutions, are undertaken within the framework of the regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), the tripartite agreement on voluntary repatriation, and the Government of Pakistan’s national policy on Afghan refugees.
To complement the UNHCR and partners’ international support, the Government of Pakistan has extended Afghan refugees’ Proof of Registration (PoR) cards until the end of 2015, issued birth certificates for 800,000 Afghan refugee children, provided land for several refugee villages, and given refugees access to public schools and health clinics, he said. In order to improve outreach to populations of concern and to build local capacity, the UNHCR works closely with local partners and government counterparts, he added.

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