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Afghanistan Returnee Crisis Situation Report No.9 (21 April 2017)

​Highlights:

  • Since 1 January, the total number of undocumented returnees arriving from Pakistan has risen to 33,026, a 50% increase on those who returned in the same period in 2016 (22,207).
  • Following the re-opening of Torkham and Spin Boldak borders on 20 March, a notable spike in undocumented returnees has been observed, with 23,419 Afghans returning (as of 15 April)  more than two thirds (71%) of those who have crossed into Afghanistan since the beginning of the year.
  • UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation operation resumed on 3 April following a three and a half months winter pause. So far, 5,235 registered refugees have returned from Pakistan, a 65% increase on those who returned in the same period in 2016. Returns from Pakistan represent 95% of all refugee returns (5,508) in 2017.
  • Findings from the first round of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) launched in January indicate that 1 person in 5 across Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar provinces is a returnee (544,364 people out of a total base population of 2,456,500). The findings, which are based on data collected between January and March 2017 from 1,368 settlements across 42 districts in the three highest rate of return provinces, will enable the humanitarian community to better understand the needs and intentions of returnee families both at the border and once they have reached their final destinations, as well as identify gaps and assess the efficacy of assistance provided.
  • On 3 April, protection monitoring teams based at the UNHCR Encashment Centres conducted interviews with new arrivals (1,591 registered returnees) from Pakistan using the revised UNHCR Voluntary Repatriation Form (VRF). The form, which was revised in March, will provide more in-depth information about return trends, motivating factors and the situation of refugees during the return journey. Interviewed refugees expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by UNHCR, particularly the US$ 200 one-time cash grant but raised concerns about how long the money would last before they found employment opportunities.
  • The Ministry of Education, UNHCR, UNICEF, Save the Children and the EiEWG visited UNHCR’s Encashment Centre in Kabul on 28 March. Staff at the Encashment Centre informed the visiting agencies that the majority of returnees from Pakistan are unaware of existing education opportunities for their children and that no education information is available at the Centre. UNICEF is preparing a small scale funding agreement for provision of education information to returnee families at the Encashment Centres in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Kabul through its local implementing partner - WADAN.
Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Cluster(s)/Sector(s): 
Original Publication Date: 
21 Apr 2017
Document type: 
Situation Report
Location(s): 
Afghanistan
Theme(s): 
Refugees and Returnees
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination