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Repatriation Programme Helps 100,000 Afghans Home

Repatriation Programme Helps 100,000 Afghans Return Home This Year -- UN

New York, Jun 1 2005 1:00PM

More than 100,000 Afghan refugees have returned home from Pakistan since the UN refugee agency’s voluntary repatriation programme for 2005 started in March.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the pace of repatriation is expected to pick up even more this month because all refugee camps in the federally administered tribal areas will be closed by the end of June. The number of returns should swell to 400,000 by the end of the year.
Since March, the returnees have come from all over Pakistan: 48,967 from the Northwest Frontier Province, 27,168 from Balochistan, 13,627 from Punjab and Islamabad, and 11,462 from Sindh.
Overall, more than 2.4 million Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan since the agency began a voluntary repatriation programme in 2002, following the fall of the Taliban regime, making it the largest repatriation operation in the world.
Under the programme, each returning Afghan receives a cash grant for transport assistance ranging from $3 to $30 per person, depending on the destination. They are also provided with a cash grant of $12 for resettlement needs.

ENDS

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