As at 13 December, 58,750 refugees have returned to Afghanistan from neighboring and non-neighboring countries since 1 January 2017 (57,409 Pakistan).
390,940 as at 10 December individuals have been newly displaced by conflict since 1 January 2017 and profiled by OCHA as internally displaced persons (IDPs).
87,247 Pakistani refugees from North-Waziristan Agency biometrically registered in Khost province and verified in Paktika province.
UNHCR Facilitated Voluntary Repatriation (VolRep) Programme The Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) is the regional platform for Afghan refugees (Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan). Under the Tripartite Agreements with the respective Governments and UNHCR, voluntary repatriation of registered Afghan refugees is facilitated from Pakistan and Iran in conditions of safety and dignity. UNHCR’s facilitated Voluntary Repatriation programme from Pakistan entered a three-month winter break from 1 December 2017 to 28 February 2018.
Through protection monitoring, UNHCR has identified that unconditional cash grants to returnees are one of the most effective means to prevent, reduce, and respond to protection risks and vulnerabilities. The cash grant remains a key component of UNHCR’s Protection Strategy to assist returnees to meet their transport to place of origin or destination and immediate humanitarian needs. UNHCR provides an average of US$200 per person through its four Encashment Centres. From 1 January to early December, UNHCR assisted over 58,000 individuals. A study of the cash grant commissioned by UNHCR is anticipated to be completed in early 2018.
Management of Encashment Centres
UNHCR in coordination with the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR/DoRR) and its implementing partners manages four Encashment Centres in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Kabul. Besides cash grants, a range of services include basic health screening, referrals to emergency services and vaccinations for children (Ministry of Public Health supported by WHO and UNICEF), child friendly spaces (UNICEF), mine risk awareness (UNMAS and the Danish Demining Group (DDG), educational information, referral for information and legal assistance to obtain civil documentation (tazkira) and a transit facility for overnight accommodation is provided by the Ministry of Public Health supported by WHO and UNICEF.
At the Centres, UNHCR also conducts household level interviews to assess the voluntary nature of return, return trends including reasons and protection risks in asylum and during return. During interviews persons with specific needs are identified by UNHCR and DoRR/MoRR and referred to service providers for assessment and potential assistance.