Repatriation of Afghan refugees suspended due to winter season

Repatriation of Afghan refugees suspended due to winter season

ISLAMABAD: The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will suspend Afgan refugees repatriations operation from December 2, 2018 to February 28, 2019 due to the winter season to facilitate refugees as Afghanistan is in grip of severe winter during first few months of new year.

An official Of UNHCR Qasir Afridi told APP that during the winter break, UNHCR offices in Pakistan will continue to provide counseling, information and assistance to refugees during the winter break.

He said that Kabul, Samar khel and Jamal Mayna Encashment Centres in Afghanistan will also not be in operation.
He said that those refugees who are not able to formally register at the Authorized points in Pakistan and return without a voluntary repatriation form will not be assisted with case grants and will not have access to Encashment Centres in Afghanistan.

The winter break, UNHCR will not bear the expenses of repatriation centres (VRC’s) at Azakhail, Nowshara and Baleli Quetta.
During the winter season, the proof of registration card retains its validity despite expiry and registered PoR cardholders will be accorded their full rights as refugees in Pakistan, he added.

He informed that those refugees, who are cardholders and facing harassment,extortion or ill treatment should contact UNHCR for immediate assistance.
He added that all services provided by UNHCR in Pakistan and Afghanistan are free of charge.