World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Greater Support Needed For Afghan Returnees

UN Ambassador Angelina Jolie Urges Greater Support For Afghan Returnees

New York, Oct 24 2008 11:10AM

International film star and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations refugee agency Angelina Jolie has appealed for greater support for Afghan returnees, particularly as the harsh winter approaches, as she wrapped up her first visit to the strife-torn nation.

Ms. Jolie’s three-day visit, which ended yesterday, was aimed at raising awareness of the refugee issue ahead of an international conference on return and reintegration to be held in the Afghan capital Kabul in December.

Although this was her first visit to the country, she is familiar with the Afghan repatriation operation – one of the biggest carried out by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – having met with Afghan refugees in neighbouring Pakistan twice in recent years.

During her trip, Ms. Jolie visited recent returnees in the eastern province of Nangarhar, where almost 20 per cent of all Afghans who return to the homeland have settled since 2002.

The returnees, who are living on desolate, desert land in tattered tents and makeshift shelters, told her they could not return to their places of origin due to a lack of land and poor security. She also visited UNHCR income-generating projects for vulnerable women in Jalalabad city.

“The courage, resilience and quiet dignity of returnee families rebuilding their lives against the kind of adversity few of us can imagine shows the human spirit at its best,” said the actress, humanitarian and mother of six.

Ms. Jolie also visited families in Kabul who had returned from Pakistan in 2003 but have still been unable to go back to their home villages. The families have been squatting in public buildings in Kabul for several years due to the lack of available land in Parwan, their province of origin, according to UNHCR.

The returnees explained that landlessness and insecurity were not the only obstacles to return. Economic problems in rural areas such as a lack of employment opportunities also influenced their decision to remain in Kabul despite the difficulties they face there.

Despite the huge returns to Afghanistan – over five million people have gone home over the past six years – some three million registered refugees remain in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan.

Next month’s conference in Kabul, co-chaired by the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR, will address how best to ensure the sustainable return of refugees and the displaced in the years to come.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: World Leaders Urged To Halt Escalating Hunger Crisis

A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17%...More>>

WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC