During the first half of 2016, the return of registered Afghan refugees holding a Proof of Registration Card (PoR) and undocumented Afghans was low, with only 7,804 registered Afghans returning and 33,892 spontaneous returns and deportees. However in July and August the return rates of both registered refugees and undocumented returnees increased dramatically. During the first seven weeks of Q3 over 47,000 registered Afghan refugees returned mostly from Pakistan – which is six times higher than the first two quarters, while 79,000 undocumented Afghans returned, also from Pakistan.
This significant increase in returns has coincided with a deterioration of the environment for Afghans in several areas of Pakistan, in particular Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Indh provinces, with decreased acceptance by hosting communities, increased harassment from local authorities and police, loss of selfreliance opportunities and, for registered refugees, the uncertainty of the renewal of PoR cards beyond 2016.
Based on recent trends, UNHCR Afghanistan is anticipating an additional 140,000 documented returnees (or 10,000 per week) by the end of the year. The CO, along with the HCT, agree that the high rate of both documented and undocumented returns will continue. A 4-months Flash Appeal was launched on 7 September. Furthermore, the CERF Rapid Response facility and the CHF Reserve fund (for NGO partners) have been activated. WFP will implement general food distributions as part of the food security and agriculture cluster response. A longer term food and nutrition response will be implemented through EMOP 201024,
Through this IR-EMOP, at least 75,000 vulnerable undocumented returnees crossing the Thorkham border into Nangahar province will receive food assistance after being verified by the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) and being assessed by IOM. Duration of the IR-EMOP is 60 days to accommodate new arrivals on a rolling basis.