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    UN to launch $1 million projects for refugees

    JALALABAD (PAN): Reconstruction projects, costing $100 million (4,735million afghanis) will be implemented in Afghanistan for 5.6 million repatriating families, the United Nations refugee agency announced on Wednesday.

    UNHCR regional head, Ilia Todorovic, told a gathering at the Jalalabad Municipality that $5 million would be spent on welfare projects for 10,000 returning families in the Saracha village of Behsud district, where some of the projects are currently underway.

    With the cooperation of the Afghan government and NGOs, the UNHCR and UNDP have launched a joint programme for building roads, schools and clinics for the returnees, the official said.

    Under the programme, power and water supply schemes would be implemented Todorovic said, adding 5.6 million refugees had returned to the country since 2002. "Since many of them are from eastern provinces, we have started the programme in Nangarhar."

    Saracha Ali Khan, Saracha Araban and Saracha Naghlu villages have 34,000 residents, including 10,000 returnees, said a spokesman for the Department of Refugees and Returnees, Mohammad Aimal.

    Electricity will be supplied to 2,200 families and health facilities to the entire population of the area, which is 10 kilometres from Jalalabad. An 11-km road linking the area with other villages would also be constructed, he said.