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Flow Monitoring - Spontaneous Returns of Undocumented Afghans from Pakistan (26 September - 09 October 2021)

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IOM Pakistan collects data on the outflows of undocumented Afghan migrants at the Torkham and Chaman border crossing points in an effort to better understand the migration movements of undocumented Afghan migrants returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan. This exercise is part of the European Union funded project “Displacement Tracking Matrix Regional Evidence for Migration Analysis and Policy (DTM REMAP)”.

From 26 September to 09 October 2021, 2,115 undocumented Afghan migrants returned to Afghanistan, including 309 through the Torkham border point and 1,806 through the Chaman border point. The number of individuals who returned through the Torkham border crossing remained low as a consequence of the restrictions imposed by the Pakistan Border Authorities in light of the security situation at the border with Afghanistan and the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.


  • During the reporting period, 14% of returnees were categorized as vulnerable persons, mainly chronically ill and elderly.

  • In Pakistan, the primary occupations reported by returnees were: unskilled labor (42%), skilled labor (32%), business (17%), salaried job (4%) and student (4%).

  • All returnees were carrying household items, cash, personal belongings and productive assets when interviewed. They also travelled with additional items, such as transportation or private vehicles (31%) and livestock (5%).

  • The average cost of travelling from Pakistan to Afghanistan reported was 10,310 PKR per family.

  • The top 3 challenges returnees expected to face in Afghanistan were: arranging for livelihoods (100%), settling into a new city (100%) and finding income opportunities (97%).