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Meeting with the IOM Chief of Mission to Afghanistan S. Simpson

The Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Afghanistan, Jiri Baloun, received the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to Afghanistan, Stuart Simpson, at the Embassy on 21 April 2021.

Chief of Mission (CoM) Simpson briefed Ambassador Baloun on the details of the IOM's activities in Afghanistan. The activities of the local IOM Mission are concentrated in the provinces bordering Iran and Pakistan, where the most Afghan returnees from these countries come. IOM operates centers in the border provinces which, in cooperation with Afghan institutions, provide returnees with elementary humanitarian assistance through WASH services (water, sanitation, hygiene), medical, social, transport, material and food aid.

Over the past five years, 3.4 million people (3.1 million from Iran and 300 thousand from Pakistan) have returned to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan, whose humanitarian situation is deteriorating further, mainly due to drought and insufficient security. Thanks to the contributions of the Czech Republic, in the period 2016-2020, IOM centers provided basic humanitarian assistance to a total of 23 thousand people in need. For 2021, IOM plans to help a total of 654 thousand people.

Ambassador Baloun emphasized the importance of helping those in need at their place of residence as the most effective form of migration prevention, and praised the IOM's demanding fieldwork, given the centers are located in security fragile regions. Furthermore, in light of the growing number of Afghan returnees, which already numbered 300 thousand in the first four months of 2021, the Ambassador expressed confidence that the international community would continue to support organizations such as the IOM and wished CoM Simpson success in his activities.

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