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Afghan Refugees In Pakistan Return Home - 2002-03-14


Thousands of Afghan refugees have returned home voluntarily with the help of a U-N repatriation program.

The United Nations Refugee Agency in Geneva says that more than 22-thousand Afghan refugees have returned home from camps in Pakistan since the repatriation program began on March first.

The repatriation program requires Afghan refugees to sign up at a registration center where they are given a transportation allowance and food vouchers. Refugees can redeem the food vouchers and receive resettlement kits at distribution centers in their home regions in Afghanistan.

The U-N agency has five distribution centers in place in Afghanistan but they expect to bring the total to 32 across the country.

U-N officials say the bulk of Afghan refugees are living in Pakistan and Iran. The agency says it plans to begin a similar repatriation program for refugees in Iran beginning April first.

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