23pc of nearly one million IDPs live in west: Balkhi
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Refugee and Repatriation Minister Alami Balkhi on Thursday said there were nearly one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country and 23 percent of them were in four western provinces.
Balkhi, who visited Herat province to assess the situation of IDPs, told a press conference here that they were trying to facilitate the IDPs to return to their own areas.
“There are nearly one million IDPs in the country and 23 percent of them are in western Herat, Ghor, Badshis and Farah provinces,” he said, adding that out of 220,000 IDPs in western provinces, 50 percent or 110,000 of them were living in Herat.
He said they conducted a seminar on Thursday at the department concerned in Herat on implementation of the national policy for IDPs.
The minister said shelter facilities had been provided to the displaced families and food and nonfood items, including fuel, should also be provided to them.
“According to the national policy, we have to facilitate the IDS to return to their areas, if they cannot go to their areas, then we have to allot them land plots in cities to resolve their problems,” he said.
He said IDPs living in private properties should vacate the areas and local officials should provide them with alternate arrangement.
About Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and Iran, he said his ministry was working on a draft to prevent forced repatriation of Afghans from the two countries.
In cooperation with some other ministries, he said, they were trying to establish a town for the returnees and to issue them residential houses on installments.
Herat Governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi said they would establish a committee to differentiate between illegible IDPs and other people and facilitate those who wanted to return their areas.
“We are collecting information about IDPs and trying to convince donor agencies not only to help through humanitarian assistance but also to provide permanent shelter to them,” he said.
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