Afghan Refugees Return to an Uncertain Future 阿富汗回国难民面临艰难生活
TORKHEM, AFGHAN-PAKISTAN BORDER —
More than 800,000 Afghans – both documented refugees and undocumented deportees – have returned to their country from Pakistan and Iran this year. National institutions seem to lack the capacity and resources to handle the inflow. The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian1 crisis and has launched a flash appeal for additional funding to deal with it.
Wrapping their entire lives onto trucks, they’re returning home in droves. Even if, like Azad Khan Minumdai, they don’t know what home would hold for them.
Hadeesa is one of those who has returned, along with her family.She is 14 years old, but she appears older. She cares for her mother, who is ill, and for her younger brother.He is abused at the place where he works. Her father and other family members together earn less than $40 a month. They must pay half of that to the owner of the house in which they live.
"We only eat bread with tea, and pay rent. We cannot afford anything else."
Hadeesa is one of more than 70,000 refugees who have returned to Afghanistan this year from Pakistan.Her mother says she does not know how they will survive.
Pakistan began taking action against undocumented Afghan refugees after an attack on a school in which 150 people were killed, most of them children.
Mathew Graydon works at the International Organization of Migration2 (IOM). He says aid agencies and the Afghan government were not prepared for the large increase in the number of people returning to the country.
“So this has caused a major strain on the resources of the government and IOM to provide assistance to these people.”
Many of the families that have returned to Afghanistan had been living in Pakistan for many years. Some of the children in those families were born in Pakistan. They have never been to Afghanistan.The families return to communities where they often do not know many people. Many arrive with just the clothes they are wearing.
Conflict deeply affects the areas with the most returnees, such as Kunhar and Kunduz provinces. Because of that, many refugees cannot go to their family villages.They become internally displaced.
For the refugee family we spoke with, life in Pakistan was difficult.But it is much worse in Afghanistan. And they do not believe it will change.
I’m Christopher Jones-Cruise.
Words in This Story
undocumented – adj. not having the official documents that are needed to enter, live in or work in a country legally
undocumented – adj.非法入境的
strain – n. 负担