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UNHCR – The Sentient Land

UNHCR’s Voluntary Repatriation Centre in Peshawar

UNHCR’s Representative Indrika Ratwatte’s lecture on the management of refugees and migrants

German-funded scholarships give young refugees hope and education

Different but not less: RAHA giving new hope to people with disabilities

Displacement by the thousands

Renewed Identity Cards

The displaced poet

Fazle Basir Basir and his family were displaced from Khyber Agency, a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Fazle Basir is a poet. The fighting in his native village caused great losses to Basir and his family. It has also pushed his most precious dream seemingly out of reach. Basir has dreamed of a day when his poetry might be published. However, he lacks the resources to achieve this himself, but his last wish is to see his book published.

The return to memory

The year 2013 marks a decade of the UNHCR-facilitated voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. More than 3.8 million Afghan refugees have returned home since 2002. Still, nearly 1.65 million remain in Pakistan. After spending almost 33 years in Pakistan as refugees, Noor Mohammad and his family of six are happy about going back to Afghanistan. Three decades ago, he witnessed fighting and destruction but today he is optimistic about the restoration of complete peace.

UNHCR team surveys return sites for Afghan refugees

UNHCR Representatives from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan recently visited a number of pilot reintegration sites for returned Afghan refugees. Forty-eight sites across Afghanistan have been selected for projects aimed at improving infrastructure and livelihood opportunities in areas which have experienced large numbers of refugee returns. The projects are linked to a new regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan refugees.

Pakistan: Helping the Hosts

In Pakistan, UNHCR has a program that assists communities that have been hosting Afghan refugees. The Afghan refugee situation is one of the longest-running in the world and the UNHCR initiative is designed to offer support to communities that have provided safety and a place to live to those refugees. Called the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) initiative, the program helps those who have helped others.

Homecoming Afghanistan

On May 2-3, the UN refugee agency and the Government of Switzerland are co-hosting an international conference in Geneva on the Afghan refugee situation. The conference on the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees will seek to help Afghan refugees and improve their reintegration in Afghanistan. Since 2002, UNHCR has assisted nearly four million Afghan refugees to return home from Pakistan. Recently, Ahmed Shafiq made the journey with his family after 15 years as a refugee. This is his story.

In Their Own Words: Afghan Refugees on Going Home

More than five million Afghan refugees have returned home since 2002. Still, nearly two million remain in Pakistan and one million in Iran. At a recent conference in Geneva, international delegates were asked to endorse a regional strategy that seeks to put in place in Afghanistan conditions that will allow more Afghans to go home, while supporting countries that continue to host large number of refugees. In this film four Afghans describe their lives as refugees and their decisions or plans to return to their homeland.

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