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Forty Years of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

International conference on Afghan refugees highlighted the selfless support provided by Pakistan to people fleeing the neighbouring country in the last forty years. The Czech Republic has been a regular contributor of assistance to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran through UNHCR and IOM.

Two-day international conference to mark forty years of Afghan refugees' presence in Pakistan took place in Islamabad on 17 and 18 February 2020. In his opening speech, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres praised Pakistan for being a “reliable and generous partner” in hosting millions of Afghan refugees. “Despite its own challenges, Pakistan has sheltered and protected Afghan refugees with limited support from the international community," said Guterres, calling on other countries to support Pakistan and show similar leadership in handling refugee flows across the world.

In the last four years, from 2016 to 2019, the Czech Republic provided financial contribution of about 1.7 million USD to Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran. Part of the funds, disbursed through UNHCR, was assigned to support the access of children and youth to education and social services. Another part went through the IOM to aid the returnees to Afghanistan.

The Czech Republic strived to contribute to the stabilization and development of Afghanistan in order to create conditions conducive to the return of refugees. The Provincial Reconstruction Team in Logar Province carried out more than two hundred reconstruction and development projects with the total value of about 13 million USD. After the PRT ended its work in 2013, the development assistance continued in the sectors of agriculture, water and sanitation, and education.

Afghan Refugees Conference 2-2020