Refugees Return In Record Numbers

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Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, on Monday said at the inauguration ceremony of Barikab Housing Project for return refugees, that the number of Afghans returning to the country has reached record levels.

Balkhi said on average, around 6,000 Afghan refugees return to the country daily – with most of them coming in from Pakistan.

This is the highest seen in 14 years.

“170,000 acres of idle land is now being used as the new (housing scheme) plans are followed,” said Alemi Balkhi.

“Now the number of Afghan refugees returning to the country is higher than in the past 14 years,” Balkhi added.

Meanwhile, Elham Omer Hotaki, the general director of independent directorate for housing development, said that Barikab town in Parwan province will be built for return refugees.

“We provide for the people land, infrastructure and facilities. People should build houses for themselves to live in,” Hotaki said.

Barikab residential town will become home to more than 15,000 internally displaced families as well as for those returning to the country.

Reports indicate that currently around seven million Afghan citizens are refugees outside the country, with large numbers living in Pakistan and Iran.

Government officials said that the National Unity Government (NUG) is trying to provide facilities for return refugees in 29 provinces in the country.

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