Pakistan: Afghan Refugees Registration Update (January - August 2017)
Proof of Registration (PoR) cards are important identity documents that provide temporary legal stay and freedom of movement in Pakistan for the 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Currently the PoR cards which have expired at the end of 2015 have been extended through official notification until the end of 2017*.
Five PoR Card Modification (PCM) centres - located in Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi and four Mobile Registration Vans (MRVs) deployed in KP, Balochistan and Punjab support the modification/replacement of existing cards, the registration of new born children up to age five, the provision of PoR cards to registered children who have reached five years of age and are now entitled to their own cards as well as the issuance of birth certificates to children under the age of 18.
A slight decrease in applicants for PCM centre services has been observed with 2,700 applicants availing themselves of registration services during the reporting period (representing a 31% decrease compared to July 2017). This is attributed to Eid preparation during the month.
In 2017, UNHCR prioritized funds for the registration of 60,000 children. The target has been increased to 120,000 as approximately 84,000 births had been registered at PCM centres and MRVs at the end of April. The target for the issuance of birth certificates is 90,000 birth certificates.
The target for the issuance of individual PoR cards is 150,000 children who have reached five years of age and are eligible to receive their individual cards from the PCM centres.**
There is a significant gap between number of birth registered and issuance of birth certificates which is mainly due to the limited resources available at PCM centre in Quetta. It also relates to the child registration through MRVs which do not have facilities to issue birth certificate at the time of registration. UNHCR is in continuous follow-up with NADRA to minimize this gap.
During the reporting period, NADRA has completed the backlog of printing of modified cards.
All printed cards have been made available at all the PCM centres for the onward delivery to the applicants. UNHCR has requested NADRA to deploy the Mobile Delivery Van (MDV) facility for the delivery of the cards to the applicants living in far flung areas of KP and Balochistan.
Many applicants are not showing-up at the centres to collect their cards as majority of them have to travel long distance for which the deployment of MDV will be beneficial for the delivery of all the pending cards at their door step.
*The PoR cards have been extended until the end of 2017 by the Federal Cabinet in its meeting of 7 February 2017, as part of the recommendations of the comprehensive policy for Afghans in Pakistan.