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Thousands of Afghan Refugees Return to Kabul - 2001-12-05


The United Nations refugee agency says thousands of Afghan refugees are pouring into Kabul as the security situation improves in the capital.

The office of the U-N High Commissioner for Refugees says it is assessing the needs of thousands of internally displaced Afghans living in and around Kabul. A spokesman says the agency plans to assist 50-thousand people near Kabul. It also is set to distribute winter emergency kits to more than 10-thousand people inside the city.

Meanwhile, the World Food Program is conducting a survey of food needs for more than one million people around Kabul, and expects to start food distribution next week.

The program says that for the first time in several years, Afghan women are working with the agency. More than 24-hundred women are going door-to-door in Kabul to distribute vouchers for emergency aid.

Separately, another agency, the International Organization for Migration, says it is receiving a strong response to its call for Afghan expatriate professionals to return and help rebuild the country.

The group says that more than 80 Afghans, including 38 women, living in Tajikistan and Iran say they want to return home to boost rehabilitation efforts in Afghanistan.

It has launched a website (W-W-W-dot-A-P-A-P-dot-A-T) and is opening 13 information offices around the world in hopes of recruiting people into the Afghan professional program.

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