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Honorable return of refugees top priority: Balkhi

Honorable return of refugees top priority: Balkhi

Jul 29, 2017 - 19:16


KABUL (Pajhwok): Refugee and Repatriation Minister Syed Hussain Alami Balkhi on Saturday said an honorable and dignified return of Afghan refugees from their host countries was a top priority of the ministry.

Balkhi, who met representatives of Afghan refugees and listened to their problems, said it the government’s top priority to address problems being faced by returning families and provide them all necessary facilities.

Some 160 refugees’ representatives from different parts of Pakistan attended the gathering with Balkhi besides lawmakers and refugees affairs attaché in Pakistan and refugee minister officials, a statement from the refugee ministry said.

The Afghan refugees’ attaché, representatives of refugees in Pakistan, businessmen and female representatives talked about their problems and demanded help from the government in resolbing them.

Non-availability of shelter, insecurity, lack of services like education and health were some of the issues the visiting delegation talked about and demanded solutions.

Balkhi said Pakistan would start registering undocumented Afghan refugees on August 16 and that the Afghan government provided two types of services to repatriates --- humanitarian and development.

He said UNHCR provided $200 to $400 in cash assistance to every returning family in addition to cash assistance from the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), with the government trying increase the aid.

He said distribution of plots to refugee families was underway in some provinces and the government wanted to distribute one plot to each refugee family.

Balkhi said the European Union (EU) had pledged 150 million euro, Saudi Arabia $30 million, World Bank $110 and Germany $10 million for rehabilitation of refugees and repatriates.