Thousands of Afghan children returning from Pakistan lack access to education, food, shelter

KABUL (SW) – Save the Children organization has recently stated that 250,000 Afghan children, constituting 65% of returnees from Pakistan, are in need of education, food, and shelter.

The organization has added that nearly 67% of returning children from Pakistan also lack access to education or the necessary documents required for enrollment in schools.

According to Save the Children’s report: “Surveys of families who have returned to Afghanistan have shown that almost 99% do not have enough food for the next one to two months. About three-fourths of returnees have reduced the amount of their meals or restricted adult food consumption so that young children can eat at least two days a week.”

The report further mentioned that most returnees from Pakistan have limited resources to cover their living expenses.

However, some returnees complain about their and their children’s lack of documentation, stating that the registration process for their children to enroll in schools is still incomplete.

Latifullah, who returned from Pakistan a few months ago, says they lack access to shelter and education. He adds: “My younger brother was in seventh grade when we were forcibly expelled. His documents are still there; he is not going to school now. There are many problems; there is no work.”

Asadullah, who returned from Pakistan through the Torkham border four months ago, also says he is still living in a camp, and education opportunities for his children have not been provided.

He adds: “I have three children who are still in the camp; there is no education for them. We have not moved yet; it is misery and unemployment.”

According to statistics provided by Save the Children organization, since the beginning of the process of expelling Afghan migrants from Pakistan, nearly 600,000 Afghan citizens have returned to their country.

While with the return of thousands of Afghan citizens from Pakistan, some schools in some provinces have announced cooperation for the free education of returning children, the Ministry of Repatriations and Refugees does not provide specific statistics on the number of children enrolled in schools.