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World urged to help Afghan refugees return voluntarily

World urged to help Afghan refugees return voluntarily

Jun 20, 2019 - 21:08

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The US Embassy in Kabul and the UN refugee agency UNHCR on Thursday urged the international community to increase efforts to create an environmentinfo-icon conducive to voluntary return of Afghan refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

On Worldinfo-icon Refugee Day, the US Embassy and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) held a joint reception to mark the 40th year of Afghan displacement.

The event was attended by distinguished guests including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation.

Speaking on the occasion, US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass remarked: “As the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to the Afghanistan response, the United States remains committed to supporting the voluntary, dignified return of Afghan refugees and the communities who host them.”

He urged donors to contribute generously to alleviate the challenges caused by four decades of displacement.

UNHCR’s Representative in Afghanistan Caroline Van Buren welcomed efforts of the government of Afghanistan including the decision to implement the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and reaffirming its commitment to include returnees and IDPs in national priorities.

She urged the international community to continue supporting the implementation of these initiatives.

“As Afghanistan makes progressive policy reforms to support the inclusion of returnees, IDPs and host communities in national systems despite daunting security challenges, the international community cannot walk away from the Afghan refugee situation that has affected the people of this country for nearly four decades.”

She stressed it was imperative to double collective efforts, including in the area of development, to support these initiatives with a view to enhancing absorption capacity and enabling sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan.

The United States is the largest single country provider of humanitarian assistance worldwide and has provided more than $293 million to alleviate suffering of vulnerable Afghans since 2018, $52.7 million of whichcontributed to UNHCR to support Afghan refugees, refugee returnees, and the communities that host them.



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