Operation: Opération: Afghanistan



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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
100% of registered refugee returnee received repatriation cash grant at encashment centers
90,500 IDPs (52% female) were profiled through protection monitoring interventions carried out at different stages of displacement
26,700 families (over 160,000 people) were provided with winterization assistance
4,400 people with specific needs were supported directly through individual in-kind and cash assistance
73 projects benefiting to local and displaced communities in 23 locations of high return and displacement were implemented
2018 planning figures
60% of returnees aged 15-24 will be enrolled in certified livelihoods training
200,000 returnees will receiving multipurpose cash grants 
30,100 refugee and IDP households will receive core-relief items 

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2017 2,454,451
2016 2,355,622
2015 1,767,291


[["Refugees",75928],["Asylum-seekers",218],["IDPs",1837079],["Returned IDPs",32649],["Returned refugees",60545],["Others of concern",448032]]
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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[131.37522619,151.97085579,150.64388639,259.233864759,137.626888924,125.83413416],"expenditure":[63.92581611,64.25946191,70.35477096,197.82190746,70.00669813,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[38.23178704,58.44455712,66.83857405,187.89448891,79.923683844,35.9332016],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[65.79076549,60.08470407,56.92509855,42.006523619,39.77442109,71.2335403],"p4":[27.35267366,33.4415946,26.88021379,29.33285223,17.92878399,18.66739226]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[18.32759334,25.27108431,42.22418797,174.62465414,42.60149276,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[30.54190771,24.42136004,17.78314669,12.48364936,10.39492624,null],"p4":[15.05631506,14.56701756,10.3474363,10.71360396,17.01027913,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Operational context

In Afghanistan violence and insecurity triggered new forced displacement, making sustainable returns and reintegration more challenging. Conflict displaced more than 470,000 people in Afghanistan in 2017, affecting 31 out of 34 provinces in 2017.
Just over 58,800 registered Afghan refugees voluntarily returned to Afghanistan, with the majority from Pakistan. The primary reasons for return included: limited employment opportunities in Pakistan, stricter border controls resulting in separation of families, fear of arrest or deportation, increased cost of living and uncertainty related to Proof of Registration (PoR) card extension in Pakistan.

Population trends

At the end of 2017, the total population of concern to UNHCR in Afghanistan was more than 2.5 million. This included IDPs and returnees as well as close to 76,000 refugees, almost all of whom were from Pakistan and residing in Khost and Paktika provinces.
There were also an estimated 1.84 million protracted and prolonged IDPs, with more than 470,000 people newly displaced in 2017. In addition, some 58,800 registered Afghan refugees voluntarily returned to Afghanistan throughout the year mostly from Pakistan.

Key achievements

  • UNHCR continued to support regional coordination in the implementation of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR, co-chairing the high-level Displacement and Return Executive Committee (DiREC) Policy Working Group and supporting the Government of Afghanistan to implement its  Policy Framework for Return and Displacement and the related key National Action Plans, including the Citizen’s Charter.
  • UNHCR assisted refugee returnees to meet their immediate needs through cash assistance of an average of $200 per person through its four encashment centres. The Office strengthened its protection monitoring, consisting in monitoring returnees upon arrival at the encashment centres, and 1 to 6 months later upon settling into their communities through regular mobile phone surveys and through community-based protection monitoring.
  • UNHCR’s community-based protection interventions aimed to reduce protection risks and vulnerabilities of people of concern, while promoting self-reliance and fostering peaceful co-existence and reintegration of returnees and IDPs with host communities. These measures include: community support infrastructure facilities, in-cash and in-kind support for subsistence, promoting representation in community decision-making structures, and skills development for employment, particularly focused on women and youth. In 2017, 23 high return/displacement communities were targeted with community-based protection measures, benefitting nearly 80,000 families (over 500,000 individuals).
  • UNHCR played a key role in developing the inter-ministerial Displacement and Return Executive Committee (DiREC) policy action plan and co-chairing the DiREC Policy Working Group.

Unmet needs

  • Access to land, shelter, livelihood opportunities, water and sanitation facilities, skills development and girl’s education as well as basic infrastructure remain major gaps and challenges to successful and sustainable reintegration. These needs cannot be addressed without long-term development solutions linked to humanitarian response, and mobilization of development actors and the inclusion of returnees into existing national programmes remain a challenge.
  • More resources would have also helped assisting more people with specific needs, distributing more winterization cash assistance to vulnerable people in areas with extreme weather risks, or developing more community-based protection interventions, which are critical for the sustainable reintegration of returnees and in mitigating the risk of secondary displacement.
The 2017 overview for this operation will be uploaded and available shortly.