UNHCR fears influx of refugees in Pakistan as foreign troops leaving Afghanistan

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UNHCR fears influx of refugees in Pakistan as foreign troops leaving Afghanistan

Staff Reporter :

Quetta:  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Head of Sub Office, Quetta Erwin Policar has said here on Wednesday that more Afghan refugees could come to Pakistan after the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan while Pakistan was already hosting 1.4
million refugees.

“We cannot rule out a fresh influx of Afghan refugees after foreign forces exit from Afghanistan,” he said while talking to newsmen here on Wednesday, adding that Pakistan is the largest refugee host country in the world.

Pakistan already hosting 1.4 million Afghan refugees 

However, he said that allowing or restricting a further influx of Afghan refugees would be the policy decision of the Pakistan government. He said that out of 1.4 million Afghan refugees 335000
were living in Balochistan. Mr. Erwin Policar said that 183379 registration holder refugees
residing in the provincial capital Quetta while 48700 living in 10 refugee villages across the province and 95043 have settled in rural areas of Balochistan.

Refugees having access to public schools and health facilities 

He said that refugees in Balochistan have access to public schools and health facilities, while hundreds of refugees were also vaccinated anti covid-19 vaccines as well, which shows the kindness of the Pakistan government and people of the province towards refugees.

The UNHCR Head of Sub office said that United Nation High Commissioner has donated 10 ambulances, an oxygen plant for Fatima Jinnah hospital Quetta, machinery for BINUQ and Jamia Shafia hospitals, while two training centers at Quetta have also been established in order to enable refugees to financially sustain in society.

UNHCR provides solar panels cold storage for vaccines

Besides, solar panels, cold storage for vaccines, toilet facilities have also been provided by the UNHCR in Quetta. “Girls education and supporting higher education is our priority,” Mr. Erwin said, adding that mobile cold storage for vaccination of refuges in far-flung areas province will be provided and 9 news schools will be established in different areas of the province. He said that UNHCR is helping Pakistan is reducing its economic burden and strain due to refugees
with the help of donor countries.

Responding to a question, he said that information about the influx of new Afghan refugees’ pouring through the media and could not be ruled out. However, the policy decision about allowing more Afghan Refugees would be taken by the Government of Pakistan.

He said that as for as our voluntary repartition program is concerned it only 350 individuals of Afghan refugees have gone back to Afghanistan this year as UNHCR and government could not forcibly push back refugees. Policar further said that the Government of Pakistan had launched a
refugee verification campaign from 15th April 2021. He said that this year world Refugee Day is being celebrated as the inclusion of refugees while making policies in sectors like education, health, sports, etc.

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