Emergency Grant Assistance for Afghan Returnees

February 24, 2004

  1. The Government of Japan decided on February 24 (Tue) to extend emergency grant assistance to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of about $4.11 million (about 436 million yen) to provide emergency aid for Afghan returnees and to implement a project to construct shelters.

    (1) Support for Returnees (provision of necessities)
    Provide returnee assistance package such as blankets as reintegration support for returnees at each UNHCR reception center set up on the border areas between Iran and Afghanistan to support about 51,000 households of Afghan refugees who moved into Iran, and internally displaced persons.

    (2) Provision of materials for shelter construction
    Support for the construction of about 20,000 houses in 2004 is expected, as the repatriation of Afghan refugees and other displaced persons exceeds original expectations. This is to provide the returnees with materials for shelters focusing on the northern and eastern parts of Afghanistan where returnees are expected to return up to the beginning of next year.

  2. Although Afghanistan has received more than 2.5 million of its own refugees and internally displaced persons since 2002, it still has a substantial need to support returnees, as another million Afghans are expected to return this year.

    Japan extended continuous support (from humanitarian to development assistance) for Afghan returnees in 2002 and 2003 in the context of Ogata Initiative Phase I, II and III, including the provision of materials for shelters and the development of water wells and other infrastructure. The project will be implemented as part of the emergency humanitarian assistance for Afghan returnees.


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