Afghanistan commemorates World Refugee Day
The day offered an opportunity to recognise the more than 5.8 million Afghans who have returned home over the last decade. Afghan refugees living outside the country remain the largest protracted refugee caseload.
World Refugee Day commemorates the strength, courage and resilience of the more than 50 million people around the world forced to flee their homes due to conflict and human rights abuses.
According to a statement from the UN refugee agency, the theme for 2014 World Refugee Day is “1 family torn apart by war is too many".
Bo Schack, UNHCR Representative, said the agency’s longstanding reintegration efforts were having a positive impact on communities and lives of returnees.
UNHCR and partners have provided immediate assistance when returnees come back to Afghanistan, legal assistance and support for shelter construction as well as greater access to water and livelihoods.
“We greatly appreciate the committed and generous support of donors who have been vital to UNHCR in continuing our work. We look forward to their continued partnership in strengthening reintegration efforts,” he added.
UNHCR has also supported the governments of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan to develop a regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan Returnees (SSAR) to preserve asylum space while fostering sustainable return.
Dr. Jamaher Anwary, minister of refugees, hailed the Solutions Strategy as a unique regional and approach involving a number of organisations and interventions ranging from assistance to development interventions.
As part of the strategy, a portfolio of projects for Afghanistan has been developed this year, with 17 agencies and a budget of id="mce_marker"56 million to support sustainable reintegration and benefit local communities.
Anwary continued “We are conscious that return must be made sustainable, and thus the importance of taking the returnee population into planning and budgeting processes is absolutely apparent...”
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