ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has facilitated the return of over 56,000 registered Afghan refugees from Pakistan so far this year under its largest and longest running voluntary return programme.
Talking to media here Thursday, he said that Pakistan is hosting almost 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees, still the largest protracted refugee population in the world.
He said since 2002, the UNHCR has facilitated the return of 4 million registered Afghans from Pakistan.
To a question, he said the validity of Proof of Registration (PoR) cards to Afghan refugees had been extended from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2017.
Over 10.6 million people, including Afghans refugees and Pakistani nationals, have benefitted from Refugees Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) projects since the same were launched in 2009, he added.
RAHA had completed over 300 projects in different districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan at a cost of $175 million.
He said RAHA has been facilitating in health, education, infrastructure, and livelihood sectors. The key objective of its programmes is to create cohesion between the Afghan refugees and their host communities.