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250,000 Afghan children need education, food, and homes post-return from Pakistan

April 19, 2024

An NGO revealed on Thursday that a quarter of a million Afghan children require education, food, and housing after being forcefully returned from Pakistan. Pakistan’s crackdown on alleged illegal foreigners, including 1.7 million Afghans, has led to over 520,000 Afghans leaving Pakistan since last October.

Save the Children highlighted that families are arriving in Afghanistan with minimal belongings, with nearly half of all returnees being children. According to the NGO’s survey, almost all families lack adequate food for the next one to two months, resorting to borrowing or relying on others for support.

Additionally, around two-thirds of returning Afghan children have not been able to enroll in school, citing lack of necessary documentation. In Pakistan, over two-thirds of these children were attending school. Moreover, girls face an extra challenge as they are banned from attending school beyond sixth grade in Afghanistan.

Arshad Malik, Save the Children’s country director for Afghanistan, stressed the strain on resources caused by the influx of returnees. Meanwhile, Abdul Mutalib Haqqani, a spokesman for the Refugee Ministry, assured that education is available for all children, regardless of documentation.

Pakistan’s deportation decision has had a significant impact, causing many Afghans who had lived in Pakistan for decades to flee back to Afghanistan, fearing arrest.

Source: PTI

Also read: Over 1 million Afghan girls barred from school as Taliban begins new academic year

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