867 AFGHAN REFUGEES RETURNED TO AFGHANISTAN
527,546 UNDOCUMENTED AFGHANS RETURNED FROM IRAN AND PAKISTAN
24,884 INTERVIEWS WITH RETURNEES FROM IRAN AND PAKISTAN
Since 01 January, UNHCR assisted the return of 867 Afghan refugees from Iran (581), Pakistan (237) 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 06 - 12 September, the total number of undocumented returnees from Iran was 20,933 (10,539 spontaneous returnees and 10,394 deportees) and from Pakistan was 568 (499 spontaneous returnees and 69 deportees). Since 01 January, the total number of undocumented returnees is 527,546 individuals, including 523,196 from Iran (339,342 spontaneous returnees and 183,854 deportees) and 4,350 from Pakistan (4,110 spontaneous returnees and 240 deportees).
Duing the week, a total of 148,094 Afghans crossed through Spin Boldak into Afghanistan, while 157,805 people crossed into Pakistan. Torkham border was opened for pedestrian movement on 12 September during which a total of 7,703 stranded Afghans crossed into Afghanistan and 2,154 stranded Pakistanis crossed into Pakistan.
Since 21 August, Spin Boldak crossing point is open seven days a week for pedestrians and commercial trucks. In addition, as of 25 August, Torkham border is open on Mondays and Tuesdays for refugee returnee’s movement to Afghanistan, while it will continue to be open once a week (on Saturdays) for undocumented returnees and other pedestrian movements.