New Goals, New Challenges
Facing a fragile peace and a society torn apart by war, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has much still to do in Afghanistan. The agency's main focus in Afghanistan in 2014 is to assist the voluntary and dignified return and reintegration of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons back to their home country.
More than 5.7 million have returned home since the fall of the Taliban regime, the largest voluntary repatriation organized by UNHCR in the last 10 years.
But the journey home is just the beginning. Once inside Afghanistan, families face the daunting prospect of having to rebuild not just their lives, but also their country's future.
Shelter and clean water are significant concerns for returning refugee families.
In addition, over the past several years, more than 9,000 water points were completed under UNHCR’s water program in high or potential return areas, as well as those hit by drought, benefiting an estimated 1.5 million Afghans.
Many refugees face other reintegration difficulties as well, including a lack of land, and access to basic services such as health care and education. Job opportunities are also scarce.
More than 28,000 returnees this year are living in five spontaneous settlements in eastern Afghanistan, unable to return to their place of origin due to insecurity, landlessness, tribal conflicts, personal enmity or lack of livelihood possibilities.
Another focus of UNHCR's work has been establishing women's groups (shuras) amongst communities of returned refugees and those who are internally displaced to enable women to voice their concerns and participate in decisions that affect their lives.
USA for UNHCR is calling on you to support humanitarian relief efforts in Afghanistan. Help us rebuild refugee lives.
Inspired by a 2007 trip to Afghanistan with the UNHCR, best-selling author Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed) founded The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Since then, his foundation has raised nearly $800,000, constructing hundreds of shelters for Afghans and providing homes for thousands of people returning to their country after years of displacement. As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Khaled returned to Afghanistan with the UNHCR in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
About the Khaled Hosseini Foundation:
The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. The Foundation supports UNHCR projects which provide shelter to refugee families and economic and education opportunities and healthcare for women and children. In addition, the Foundation awards scholarships to students who have migrated to the United States under refugee status and to women pursuing higher education in Afghanistan.