Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan by end of year
ISLAMABAD [ACTED News] - The tripartite agreement between the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR), and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which grants Afghan refugees an official refugee status in Afghanistan, will come to an end on 31 December 2012. Therefore, the estimated 1.8 million registered (and an additional 1.3 million unregistered) refugees are to return to Afghanistan as the four camps in Lower Dir are scheduled to be closed down. So far, only 50,000 people returned to Afghanistan on a voluntary basis in 2011. ACTED is preparing to launch interventions that should help refugees gain access to employment on their return through skills development training, and is considering a cross-border intervention to help find jobs or work experience upon their return to Afghanistan.