It is likely that Afghanistan will take in more than a million returning Afghans by the end of the year. Since January 2016, more than 380,000 registered Afghan refugees have returned home to Afghanistan. In addition to registered refugees, over 600,000 migrants and deportees have returned from Pakistan and Iran. This places a heavy burden on the government in Kabul at a time when it is battling a resurgent Taliban and a growing Islamic State presence.
In order to meet the extraordinary needs of returning Afghan refugees, the United States is pleased to announce that it is providing over $39 million. This brings the total U.S. contribution to the Afghan humanitarian response to more than $207 million since the beginning of fiscal year 2016.
U.S. funding includes more than $19 million in support for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help address the urgent needs of these vulnerable individuals, including by providing them with shelter, essential household items, and supplies for winter.
The United States is also providing $20 million to the World Food Program’s Afghanistan Emergency Operation targeting vulnerable returnees and refugees in eastern Afghanistan and people displaced by ongoing war with the Taliban and Islamic State. This response to the World Food Program's recent special appeal for these populations represents enough to serve 548,000 people for nine months.
These vulnerable people urgently need the international community’s assistance and support in the coming winter months. The United States urges all countries to contribute the remaining funds still needed for UN humanitarian appeals for Afghanistan.