1,169 AFGHAN REFUGEES RETURNED TO AFGHANISTAN
576,801 UNDOCUMENTED AFGHANS RETURNED FROM IRAN AND PAKISTAN
29,203 INTERVIEWS WITH RETURNEES FROM IRAN AND PAKISTAN
Since 01 January, UNHCR assisted the return of 1,169 Afghan refugees from Iran (608), Pakistan (512) and other countries (49) including Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation, under its facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. After a temporary suspension of voluntary repatriation between 04 March and 29 April due to COVID-19, UNHCR resumed its facilitated voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran as of 30 April and from Pakistan and other countries as of 10 August.
Refugee returnees receive a multi-purpose cash grant (on average USD 250 per person) and other services at Encashment Centers (ECs) located in Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, and Nangarhar provinces. UNHCR’s cash grants to refugee returnees are intended to prevent, reduce, and respond to immediate protection risks and vulnerabilities upon return to Afghanistan.
According to MoRR/IOM, during the weeks of 20 - 26 September, the total number of undocumented returnees from Iran was 26,801 (13,584 deportees and 13,217 spontaneous returnees) and from Pakistan was 231 (153 spontaneous returnees and 78 deportees). Since 01 January, the total number of undocumented returnees is 576,801 individuals, including 571,800 from Iran (363,149 spontaneous returnees and 208,651 deportees) and 5,001 from Pakistan (4,631 spontaneous returnees and 370 deportees).
During the week, regular population movements (over 316,000 individuals in both directions) continued through Spin Boldak to/from Afghanistan. Torkham border was opened for pedestrian movement on 26 September, on which date a total of 6,956 stranded Afghans crossed into Afghanistan and 2,627 stranded Pakistanis crossed into Pakistan.
Since 21 August, Spin Boldak crossing point has been open seven days a week for pedestrians and commercial trucks. As of 25 August, Torkham border has been open on Mondays and Tuesdays for refugee returnee movements to Afghanistan.