Land distribution to Afghan returnees begins, MoRR

Ministry of Refugees and Repatriates (MoRR) has informed of distribution lands to a number of those who have returned from neighboring countries. The ministry says based on 305th decree of presidential office, land will be distributed to those have on shelter.
According to ministry of refugees and repatriates, by implementation of the decree issued in connection with distribution of lands to returnees, it is determined that the lands will be distributed to eligible returnees not all.
“Based on 305th presidential decree, two committees have been formed to specify location for lands and identify eligible returnees,” deputy spokesperson to the ministry of refugees and repatriates Mohammad Raza Bahir said, adding that responsibilities of the committees have been finalized and will be soon approved by the country’s President.
“Work responsibilities of the committees have been finalized by the ministry of refugees and will be delivered to coming meeting of refugees’ affairs chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. Soon after approval of the committees’ work responsibilities, land distribution will begin based on the presidential decree,” Bahir added. According to deputy spokesperson to the ministry of refugees, the 104th presidential decree issued previously in connection with distribution of lands to returnees has been newly modified and approved and changed to 305th.
“From now on, distribution process of lands will be accelerated and only eligible returnees rather than all returnees will be granted residential lands based on the 305th presidential decree,” Bahir added.
Deputy spokesperson to the ministry says from 2015 – 2017, lands were distributed to 8,000 returnees having documents, but no lands have been distributed during the 2018 due to modification of the presidential decree.
Meanwhile, parliament commission on providing houses says the committees that have been created in connection with land distribution to returnees should follow their works in consultation with local officials and councils in the country in order to maintain transparency in distribution of lands to eligible returnees.
“There should be transparency in distribution of lands to returnees and both committees should first seek vision of governors, provincial councils and local people and then approve eligibility of returnees for lands,” a lawmaker Mir Bat Khan Mangal said.
Most of refugees who have returned their homeland from neighboring Pakistan and Iran are complaining that they have not been provided with residential lands so far despite that they have documents.
Based on information of the ministry of refugees and repatriates, currently from 62 towns, considered for refugees and returnees in 32 provinces of the country, 39 have been operating, but the rest are remained un-operational due to security and technical problems.
In a report published by the UNHCR in April 2018, Pakistan hosted the largest number of refugees in the world. According to the UNHCR report, as many as 1.45 million refugees belonged to Afghanistan.
Based on official statistics, nearly eight million Afghan refugees have returned home from various foreign countries in particular Pakistan and Iran during the past 17 years, but it is said that six million Afghans are still living as refugees in different countries of the world.
Shukria Kohistani

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