Afghanistan + 2 more

Return of Undocumented Afghans - Weekly Situation Report (29 January - 4 February 2017)



  • 1,202 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan
  • 5,010 undocumented Afghans returned from Iran
  • 7,086 total returns from Pakistan since 1 January 2017
  • 35,833 total returns from Iran since 1 January 2017
  • 81% of returnees from Pakistan (980 individuals) assisted
  • 5% of returnees from Iran (271 individuals) assisted

Situation Overview

IOM is responding to a substantial increase in the return of undocumented Afghans from Pakistan and Iran. Since 1 January 2016, over 735,000 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.

Returns from Pakistan

From 29 January to 4 February 2017, a total of 1,202 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 8% increase in returns from the previous week. Of the total, 1,047 were spontaneous returnees in family groups and 155 were deported individuals. This brings the total number of undocumented Afghan returnees from Pakistan to 7,086 since 1 January 2017.
During the reporting period, IOM assisted 980 (81%) undocumented Afghan returnees from Pakistan, including 125 single parents and 76 special cases. The support provided includes meals and accommodation at IOM’s Transit Centers near the border, household supplies and other Non-Food Items (NFIs) for families, special assistance to Persons with Specific Needs (PSNs), and other assistance from partners as per the adjacent table.

Returns from Iran

A total of 5,010 undocumented Afghans spontaneously returned or were deported from Iran through Islam Qala (Herat) and Milak (Nimroz) border crossings from 29 January to 4 February, a 16% decrease compared with the previous week. Out of the total, 3,178 were spontaneous returnees and 1,832 were deportees. This brings the total number of undocumented returnees from Iran since 1 January 2017 to 35,833.

IOM provided post-arrival humanitarian assistance to 271 (5%) undocumented Afghans arriving from Iran at its Transit Centers in Herat and Nimroz, including 80 unaccompanied migrant children and 17 people with special medical needs.