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US, Japan pledge $34m in aid for Afghan returnees

US, Japan pledge $34m in aid for Afghan returnees

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Nov 24, 2016 - 19:45

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United States has pledged $29 million and Japan $5 million in aid for Afghan families returning from Pakistaninfo-icon and Iran, officials said on Thursday.

Refugee Ministry official Hafiz Ahmad Miakhel told Pajhwok Afghan News the American assistance would be reaching returning and displaced families.

He said the Afghan Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation had welcomed the American assistance and urged other countries to follow suit.

He said the Japanese government had also announced $5 million in aid for refugee families.  He said the Afghan government had set aside 100 million afghanis for rehabilitation of the returning families.

He said the Afghan families who had been living in Pakistan illegally would be provided 3350 afghanis each.

Deputy Refugee and Repatriation Minister Fazal Ahmad Azimi thanked Japan for the aid at a press conference in Kabul and said the assistance would be distributed to the returning families through the International Organization of Migrationinfo-icon (IOM).

The aid included cooking tools and some other materials to protect the refugees from cold weather conditions, he said, hoping Japan would continue helping needy Afghans.

Azimi said around 920,000 Afghan refugees had returned from Pakistan and Iran during the past one year. Each returnee received $400 from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Japanese ambassador to Kabul, Mitsuji Suzuka, said his country had pledged $5 million in aid for Afghan refugees at the Brussels Conference.

He said Japan had been providing relief goods to affected people through the IOM since 2008.

IOM head Laurence Hart said the organization’s partnership with Japan had a long history in helping Afghanistaninfo-icon.

mds/ma

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