IOM Transit Center Expanded in Torkham to Aid Afghan Returnees

| 21 May 2017, 21:07

On visit to Afghanistan, IOM’s Deputy Director General Ambassador Laura Thomson Inaugurated a substantial expansion of MOI Transit Center on the border with Pakistan on Saturday.
IOM’s Transit Center is a hub for humanitarian agencies where they collocate and provide specialized services to returnee.
The expansion work at the Torkham Transit Center has doubled the accommodation capacity, with the ability to host 30 families or 210 individuals at any one time. The capacity of the Transit Center warehouse has also been increased allowing IOM to stock 1,000 family assistance packages and the clinic has doubled in size.
In a press release, MOI states that 55,000 undocumented Afghans have returned from Pakistan between January and mid-May; this is a double number of returns comparing to the same period in 2016.
The organization is expecting nearly 600,000 undocumented Afghans to return home from Pakistan and Iran by the end of 2017 – return of 55,000 undocumented Afghans between January and mid-May has marked 2017 a year on record.
The statement adds that due to fragile humanitarian context in Afghanistan and widening conflict, undocumented returnees face unique challenges, both on arrival and integration into in society after as many as three decades in exile in Pakistan. Shelter, food, livelihoods, access to clean water and basic services such as health care and education were underlined.
On a three-day mission to Afghanistan IOM’s Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, visited the Torkham and met with CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Ministries of Refugees and Repatriation and Social Affairs, and UN and donor partners to discuss several issues.
At the beginning of May, IOM issued an updated funding needs document outlining the need for USD $52.8 million in support to assist 292,000 returnees from Pakistan and Iran through March 2018.

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