Returns to Afghanistan in 2017: Joint IOM-UNHCR Summary Report

Preface

Historically, Afghans have always been on the move. As many as 8.5 million, or one in four Afghans have been displaced internally or abroad during the last four decades due to conflict, natural hazards, disasters and the resulting socio-economic challenges.

Each year, Afghans return from the neighbouring Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan. Once back in country, with the over-stretched absorption capacity of host communities, reintegration challenges are daunting. Primary challenges include food insecurity, access to land, long-term shelter, access to services including health, education and legal assistance; and livelihoods opportunities that enable returnees to support themselves and their families. The establishment of the Displacement and Return Executive Committee to ensure inclusion of returnees in the national development programmes is a key step taken by the Government of Afghanistan. Additional efforts are required to ensure accountability of returnee response activities and longer term durable solutions at the provincial levels.

Together with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have been actively coordinating the provision of post-arrival humanitarian and re-integration assistance to returning Afghans since 2007.

We are very pleased to underline our inter-agency collaboration and issue a joint IOM-UNHCR report for the first time, depicting the challenges faced by returning Afghans.

We take this opportunity to thank our donors for their generous support and partnership.

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