June 22, 2024 05:09 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Centre notifies stringent anti-paper leak law amid exam mess, accused to face jail term, fine up to a crore | Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole alleges cracks on Atal Setu, BJP hits back | Amid paper leak row, CSIR-UGC-NET exam scheduled for next week postponed | Renukaswamy murder: Darshan Thoogudeepa borrowed Rs. 40 lakh from friend, paid other accused to destroy evidence, say cops | Liquor policy case: Delhi HC stays Arvind Kejriwal's bail till ED plea hearing
Desperate Afghan returnees from Pakistan face uncertain future: IOM
Afghanistan
A border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. (file) Photo Courtesy: UNOCHA/Shahrokh Pazhman

Desperate Afghan returnees from Pakistan face uncertain future: IOM

| @indiablooms | 22 Nov 2023, 02:50 pm

The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) and humanitarian partners are providing critical aid at border crossing points between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the face of a surge in forced returns of Afghan nationals.

According to IOM, in the past two months alone, nearly 375,000 Afghans left Pakistan, primarily utilizing the Torkham and Spin Boldak border crossings, near Kabul and Kandahar, respectively.

The number of daily border crossings has skyrocketed from 200 to a staggering 17,000, creating an unprecedented strain on resources and infrastructure.

Desperate situation

“Their situation is desperate; most people told us they were forced to leave the country and leave belongings and savings behind,” said Maria Moita, IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission.

“People arriving in Afghanistan are extremely vulnerable and need immediate support at the border as well as for the long term in the areas of return,” she added.

The crisis has unfolded following Pakistan’s implementation of the “Illegal Foreigners’ Repatriation Plan,” which set a 1 November deadline for the “voluntary return” of all undocumented Afghans in Pakistan to their home country.

Response efforts

Critical aid, encompassing shelter, water, sanitation, essential household items, healthcare, protection, nutrition services, and cash assistance for basic needs, transportation, and food, are being delivered by an IOM-led border consortium.

However, the surge in forced returns has necessitated the establishment of larger reception centres to provide assistance to returning Afghans before they proceed to their intended areas of return.

“This is a significant humanitarian crisis and funds are urgently needed to continue providing immediate assistance after arrival to ensure a safe and dignified return,” said Ms. Moita.

Urgent support needed

As the crisis unfolds, the border consortium has launched an initial appeal for support, anticipating the need for a revision and additional resources. The situation is particularly challenging for women and girls in Afghanistan, and with winter approaching, the need for international support is even more urgent.

After decades of conflict, instability and economic crisis, Afghanistan will struggle to absorb the high number of returning families, many of whom have not lived in the country for decades if ever, according to IOM.

“With over six million people already internally displaced throughout the country, Afghans returning from Pakistan face a precarious, uncertain future,” the agency said.

Afghanistan currently has the third-largest number of internally displaced people globally.

Support Our Journalism

We cannot do without you.. your contribution supports unbiased journalism

IBNS is not driven by any ism- not wokeism, not racism, not skewed secularism, not hyper right-wing or left liberal ideals, nor by any hardline religious beliefs or hyper nationalism. We want to serve you good old objective news, as they are. We do not judge or preach. We let people decide for themselves. We only try to present factual and well-sourced news.

Support objective journalism for a small contribution.