Home World News Displaced Afghans in Central Asia and Pakistan to receive assistance

Displaced Afghans in Central Asia and Pakistan to receive assistance

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Nearly 1.5 million Afghans live in the five countries targeted by this project. Photo: IOM/Léo Torréton.
Nearly 1.5 million Afghans live in the five countries targeted by this project. Photo: IOM/Léo Torréton.

The Government of Canada announced yesterday (14 December) a contribution of CAD 21 million channeled through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support the most vulnerable Afghan populations who have fled their country looking for safety in Central Asia and Pakistan. 

The resources will fund a three-year regional project to support governments and local organizations in responding to the protection, health and integration needs of Afghan nationals in their communities in five countries in the region: Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.  

“Those vulnerable Afghans living in conditions of protracted displacement or in search of protection are desperately in need of immediate assistance and must not be forgotten,” said IOM Director General, Amy Pope. “This generous act of solidarity from the Government of Canada towards neighbouring countries hosting vulnerable Afghans reaffirms our commitment to leave no one behind.”  

“Canada’s experience shows that refugees contribute significantly to societies and economies, and Canada has a proud and long-standing tradition of responding to the needs of vulnerable people, international assistance, resettlement, and integration. This funding for IOM will support vulnerable Afghan populations in Central Asia and Pakistan affected by the crisis,” said Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “We are grateful for our partnership with the IOM and value their ongoing help to provide life-saving and essential assistance to refugees in Afghanistan and worldwide.”

The funding will support the integration of Afghan nationals by expanding local basic services in line with national policies, while improving their livelihoods and ensuring social cohesion and peaceful coexistence with host communities. 

Canada’s support will also contribute to enhancing Afghans’ access to multi-sectoral services, such as health, as well as growing the knowledge and skills of health and non-health stakeholders on health security at borders. 

A core component of this project is geared towards capacity-building of national and local authorities in the protection of migrants’ basic rights. In addition, the funding will support economic recovery and resilience of Afghan communities through IOM’s vocational training and economic integration schemes, designed in collaboration with national authorities and civil society.  

Canada is among the top 10 donors to IOM globally, and the country has recently reached its commitment to resettle more than 40,000 Afghan refugees with the assistance of IOM since August 2021. 

Currently, more than 1,460,900 Afghans are in the five countries targeted under this project.  

Over 480,000 undocumented Afghans have been deported from Pakistan to Afghanistan since early November.  

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