• publish: 10 February 2016
  • time: 9:03 am
  • category: International
  • No: 3352

‘82% Afghan refugees residing in KP, Balochistan’

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan provinces are accommodating 82 percent Afghan refugees, said a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) report.

As per report, 11 percent Afghan refugee are residing in Punjab, four percent in Sindh, two percent in Islamabad and less than 1 percent are living in Azad Kashmir. Daily Times reported.

Only 32 percent Afghan refugees are residing in remaining 54 refugee villages. The majority of Afghan nationals are ethnically Pashtun 86 percent, followed by Tajiks six percent, Uzbeks two percent and others six percent. Children and youth (up to 24 years of age) constitute 64 percent of the Afghan refugee population in Pakistan, the majority of whom were born in Pakistan in the second or third generation.

At present, 68 percent of the total number of refugees is residing in semi-urban settings, which are scattered across Pakistan While the infrastructure built in refugee villages over many years facilitates access of refugees to basic services, the knowledge of refugees living outside of refugee villages about available services remains limited.

An official of UNHCR said Pakistan has generously hosted the world’s largest refugee population for three decades and it was essential to mobilise more support from the international community to sustain efforts such as the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) initiative, which is a way of thanking the hosts of these refugees. It is pertinent mention here that according to UNHCR, Pakistan hosts 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees, which is the largest number of refugees in the world.

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