Afghanistan + 2 more

Return of Undocumented Afghans - Weekly Situation Report (12 - 18 February 2017)

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Highlights

986 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan

2,696 undocumented Afghans returned from Iran

9,286 total returns from Pakistan since 1 January 2017

41,847 total returns from Iran since 1 January 2017

81% of returnees from Pakistan (801 individuals) assisted

10% of returnees from Iran (260 individuals) assisted

Returns from Pakistan

From 12-18 February 2017, a total of 986 undocumented Afghans spontaneously returned or were deported from Pakistan through Torkham border (Nangarhar province) and Spin Boldak border (Kandahar province), according to the Border Monitoring Team of the Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation (DoRR). This is a 19% decrease in returns from the previous week. The decrease is the result of the indefinite closure of Torkham border on 17 February, and Spin Boldak border the following day, in response to the recent attack in Lahore. Of the total returnees, 892 were spontaneous returnees in family groups and 94 were deported individuals. This brings the total number of undocumented Afghan returnees from Pakistan to 9,286 since 1 January 2017.
During the reporting period, IOM assisted 801 (81%) undocumented Afghan returnees from Pakistan, including 110 single parents and 28 special cases. The assistance provided includes meals, accommodation, Non-Food Items (NFIs), onward transportation and referral services, as well as support from partners as per the adjacent table.

Situation Overview

IOM is responding to a substantial increase in the return of undocumented Afghans from Pakistan and Iran. Since 1 January 2016, over 743,000 undocumented Afghans have returned due to diverse push factors, including deteriorating protection space in Pakistan. Many of those returning have lived outside of Afghanistan for decades, and will need support from the government and humanitarian actors both on arrival and as they seek to reintegrate into a country already struggling with widespread conflict and displacement. While returns have declined in line with seasonal trends during winter, previous surges in returns have been unpredictable and an estimated 1 million undocumented Afghans still remain in Pakistan. IOM is prepared to respond to increased needs and is appealing for additional funding to continue its emergency response programming.

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