Fewer Afghan refugees willing to return home

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Afghan refugees being registered

Fewer Afghan refugees are returning to their country and that's because of a lack of economic opportunities according to the UN Refugee Agency.

UNHCR says about 70,000 Afghan refugees opted to return home last year from a peak of 250,000 in 2008.

The agency says the majority of those who do return were unable to live decent lives because they lack access to land, housing and essential services such as health and education.

At an International Conference in Geneva on the issue, UN High Commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres says workable and durable solutions were urgently needed.

"While the international community continues its efforts to support the nation building process , we should recognize that Afghan refugees and returnees constitute critical human capital in that process. The ability for refugees to return in safety and dignity, and become productive citizens in their communities upon return, is also integral to the stability and progress of Afghanistan. Without significant, community based development activities, sustainable solutions for refugees will not be found and an increasing number of Afghans may move further afield. We must create conditions that have a tangible impact on returnees and refugees and the communities that continue to host them." (Duration: 43″)

Filed under Today's News.
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