Operation: Opération: Pakistan



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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
100% of people of concern had access to national primary health care
52,760 children were registered and issued documentation under regular birth registration procedures
52,550 children were enrolled in primary education
60  education facilities were constructed or improved
20 litres of potable water was made available per person per day
2018 planning figures
54,500 primary school aged children will be enrolled in primary education 
20,000 extremely vulnerable refugee households will receive core relief items
20,000 identity documents will be issued for the Pakistan returnees from Afghanistan
5,000 people of concern, particularly the youth, will benefit from vocational/technical skills training to improve livelihood 
70 educational facilities will be constructed or improved in the host communities

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2017 1,852,650
2016 2,510,749
2015 3,390,353


[["Refugees",1393143],["Asylum-seekers",3496],["IDPs",174354],["Returned IDPs",281640],["Returned refugees",17]]
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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[161.35432216,162.48358814,136.70262985,137.352355659,127.07320187,99.20166917],"expenditure":[60.30982274,64.49818564,64.26438087,54.72576009,53.21599053,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[59.97018945,57.67569721,58.40259877,68.04881327,63.73213975,68.62045115],"p2":[1.48910797,0.21242026,0.30424051,0.23462954,0.235,0.599],"p3":[59.67971779,60.84901445,49.6136171,50.34262892,59.04825415,28.98221802],"p4":[40.21530695,43.74645622,28.38217347,18.726283929,4.05780797,1]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[30.48784343,33.37477024,27.95927853,31.68652771,34.23735457,null],"p2":[0.0786895,0.18566753,0.2060976,0.15099556,0.13975851,null],"p3":[13.69849557,9.8252259,18.78861072,16.56428054,17.49127573,null],"p4":[16.04479424,21.11252197,17.31039402,6.32395628,1.34760172,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Operational context

At the end of 2017, Pakistan hosted close to 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, holders of Proof Registration (PoR) cards. Some 58,800 Afghans refugees voluntarily returned to Afghanistan in 2017 with UNHCR’s assistance.
UNHCR proactively supported the Government of Pakistan in the implementation of its Comprehensive Policy on Voluntary Repatriation and Management of Afghan nationals, which was adopted in February 2017. The policy aims to ensure refugee protection and management of mixed movements. Two positive decisions were: the approval of a flexible visa regime for different categories of Afghans; and the agreement to move forward with the enactment of a national refugee legislation. A third decision – documentation of undocumented Afghans residing in Pakistan – was also a key action to a more comprehensive and sustainable response on migration management issues in Pakistan.
UNHCR continued to closely work with the World Bank to secure a portion of the funding allocated for refugee host countries to support Pakistan in easing the pressure on host communities’ services and infrastructure.

Population trends

At year end the number of registered refugees in Pakistan stood at some 1,393,100, a slight increase from the some 1,353,000 registered refugees at the end of 2016. Almost all refugees come from Afghanistan. In addition, there were close to 174,400 IDPs, and close to 282,000 IDPs returned to their places of origin by the end of the year.

UNHCR led the emergency shelter and non-food items clusters as part of the inter-agency response and provided technical support to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Disaster Management Authorities (FDMA) in the protection cluster, In addition, UNHCR supported displaced people and returnees through mobile protection teams and grievance desks.

Key achievements

  • UNHCR continued to support regional coordination in the implementation of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).
  • Under the Refugee Hosting and Affected Areas (RAHA) programme, 34 projects were implemented in 2017, benefitting 500,000 people —31 per cent of whom were Afghan refugees—in the areas of education, health, water, infrastructure and livelihoods.
  • Youth empowerment in particular was prioritized within RAHA through technical and vocational skills training conducted in government-certified institutions with accredited certifications which can be utilized in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Birth registration, birth certificate issuance and the provision of Proof of Registration (PoR) cards to children that have reached five years of age remained a high priority: in addition to the PoR cards centers, three mobile registration teams were deployed in the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

Unmet needs

  • More donor attention is required in assisting local authorities throughout the country and the Ministry of Education to increase enrollment of refugee children into Pakistan public schools.
  • Reduced resources affected legal assistance activities and urban outreach, as well as specific activities geared towards prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence and overall protection needs of children.
  • Many health facilities continued to lack sufficient medical equipment. In addition, many Afghan and hosting communities did not have access to proper drinking water facilities, resulting in increased risk of the outbreaks of communicable diseases.

Working environment

After nearly four decades of protracted displacement, Pakistan still hosts over 1 million registered refugees, holders of Proof of Registration (PoR) cards. 

Since July 2016, and due to a complex set of security and political factors, there has been a surge in the return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. As of end December 2016, over 380, 000 Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan this year alone. All efforts are done to promote a voluntary, safe, dignified and phased return, with the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).

The Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme, another key element of the SSAR, will continue to provide enhance support to host communities and promote peaceful co-existence.

Funding gap on both important elements of the SSAR, voluntary return and RAHA programme, would have a direct impact on regional stability.

In the meantime, the vast majority of the remaining internally displaced families affected by the security operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are expected to return and UNHCR plans to responsibly disengage from its protection cluster responsibility by the end of 2017.

UNHCR and partners are also planning for the return of people who were displaced from North Waziristan in Pakistan in 2014 and remained in Afghanistan.