Kabul alone cannot cope with refugees, IDPs: Balkhi
Addressing the 67th annual session of executive committee’ of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday in Geneva, the minister said since the start of current year 400,000 Afghan migrants had returned and more than one million had been internally displaced in Afghanistan.
A statement from the Ministry of and Refugee and Repatriation on Wednesday said the meeting in Geneva was attended by high-ranking officials from nearly 150 countries and more than 30 heads of international organizations.
Balkhi at the session asked the world to help Afghanistan repatriate Afghan refugees and support internally displaced persons (IDP).
The minister said the Afghan government was committed to working jointly, gradually, voluntarily and in a dignified and safe manner with international allies to facilitate the returning Afghan refugees.
In order to reach this goal, a comprehensive repatriation policy and a plan for its implementation had been devised, the minister said, calling for international assistance in this regard.
Balkhi said since the start of the year 2016 till now more than 400,000 Afghan refugees had returned to Afghanistan.
The minister hoped the hosting countries would bring to a halt forced repatriation of Afghan refugees and pave the way for their registration so that they could return gradually and willingly.
There were nearly one million IDPs in Afghanistan displaced due to fighting and another 250,000 coming from Pakistani tribal areas to Afghanistan.
According to Balkhi, the Afghan government couldn’t address these problems solely and seriously needed donor countries, United Nations and humanitarian organizations’ help in this regard.
He said if a long-term solution to refugees’ crisis was not mulled over, then it would create more problems not only for Afghanistan but for the entire world.
On the sidelines of the 67th meeting of the UNHCR executive committee, the minister also discussed the refugee issue in separate meetings with officials from Australian, the US, Qatar and some international organizations.
The UNHCR’s executive committee meeting takes place every year aimed at conferring on refugees’ issues in the Switzerland’s Geneva city.
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