IOM vows continued support for Afghan women
KABUL (PAN): The International Organization for Migration (IOM), vowing to continue its efforts at improving the lives of women in Afghanistan, on Thursday celebrated International Women’s Day in Kabul.
IOM helped 13,201 Afghans to return home from over 20 countries between 2002-2011, with 4,290 of them receiving individually-tailored assistance such as arrival assistance, employment referrals, training, and assistance in setting up small businesses, the organization said a statement.
Some 7,819 vulnerable members of communities, receiving large numbers of returning migrants, also benefitted from community development projects across the country, it said.
Neighbouring Iran and Pakistan house overwhelming numbers of undocumented Afghans. Since 2008, IOM has assisted 300,000 Afghans - deported or returned voluntarily - by providing reception assistance at the Iranian border and reintegration assistance such as permanent housing, income generation and business skills training especially catered to widows, female heads of household and women seeking employment.
About 534 victims of trafficking, 50 percent of them women, had received protection, rehabilitation and reintegration assistance from IOM, it said, adding Afghanistan remained a major source, transit and destination country for victims of trafficking.
At least 1,400 Afghan experts, including 200 women, had returned to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2011 from more than 30 countries with IOM’s assistance to participate in rebuilding their nation.
“We strive to create initiatives that address specific gender-related needs of our beneficiaries,” said Marco Boasso, IOM’s Chief of Mission and Special Envoy to Afghanistan. “But this is possible only through generous contributions from countries that have a stake in Afghanistan’s future, and strong partnerships with Afghan government institutions and UN and civil society organizations.”
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