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Shelter remains major problem of returnees

Shelter remains major problem of returnees

Dec 18, 2016 - 18:58

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Deputy refugee and repatriation minister Ahad Wali Hakimi on Sunday identified the lack of shelter as main problem being faced by recently returned families.

Addressing a gathering marking the Word Refugee Day in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, the deputy minister said his ministry was making efforts to resolve the shelter problem.

Hakimi said more than one million refugees returned to Afghanistaninfo-icon this year, most of them through the Torkham border crossing.

He said nearly 60 percent of the returning families had settled in Nangarhar province.

He said the main problem the returnees faced  was shelter and they were making efforts to resolve that problem.

He said construction work on a township for the returning families had been started in Qasim Abad area of Behsud district.

He said the township would house 30,000 refugee families.

UNHRC public relations officer Nasir Ahmad Haiderzai said refugees’ problems compounded with the arrival of unregistered refugees.

He said UNHCR was assisting refugee families in border areas but they could not assist unregistered refugees.

“We first register names in border areas and then we assist them in area of heath and food. If they need shelter to spend night, they are provided that facility besides food.”

He also said so far more than one million refugees had returned back to Afghanistan, including 660,000 undocumented migrants.

Nangarhar deputy governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal said the government had paved the ground for giving 3500 afghanis and non-food items in aid to unregistered refugees.

But a member of the provincial council, Ajmal Omar, said problems of the returning families remained unaddressed. Besides lacking shelter, the returnees needed facilities like hospital, schools and others.

He said the Behud township alone would not help accommodate all the returnees and more such townships should be constructed.


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