“I went to Iran to find work, but I had to come back because work was very limited and because of the spread of COVID-19,” said Juma Gul.* Juma Gul is one of more than 100,000 undocumented Afghan migrants who returned from Iran to Afghanistan in March through the Islam Qala border in Hirat Province.
Juma Gul is from Badakshan Province in the far north-east of Afghanistan. Like the vast majority of returnees, he went to Iran to find work, primarily in construction or seasonal agriculture. However, demand for Afghan labour dwindled due to the economic crisis in Iran and, more recently, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Iran, where more than 38,000 cases have been confirmed thus far.
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