Afghans make up the largest refugee population in the world with the majority of them residing in Pakistan. Since 2002, more than five million Afghan refugees have returned home, but nearly three million remain spread throughout the world. Host countries, UNHCR and Afghanistan itself are looking for a solution to the world’s most protracted refugee situation. Pakistan, which has hosted Afghan refugees for more than 30 years, continues to be home to 1.7 million Afghans in exile.

Afghan refugees walk through a dried out riverbed in Peshawar. A UNHCR Pakistan government initiative, the Population Profiling Verification Response (PPVR) program involves three steps to aid in data collection on the Afghan refugee community in Pakistan. 60% of the population of 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan have been covered since the program began. The survey is undertaken in 21 districts of Pakistan.
info
×
Afghan refugees listen to a voluntary repatriation promotion undertaken as part of the PPVR program in the courtyard of an Afghan refugee in Hajicamp town, Peshawar, a community with many Afghan refugees residing. A UNHCR Pakistan government initiative, the Population Profiling Verification Response (PPVR) program involves three steps to aid in data collection on the Afghan refugee community in Pakistan. 60% of the population of 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan have been covered since the program began. The survey is undertaken in 21 districts of Pakistan.
info
×
Khan Zaman, 45 looks at a family photo at a UNHCR Voluntary Repatration Centre (VRC) in Peshawar. The family is from Kunar Province in Afghanistan and are now returning after 32 years in Pakistan crossing at the Torkham border with Afghanistan near Peshawar. They came to Pakistan as refugees with the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The family lived close to an Afghan refugee camp near Peshawar and undertook farming to support themselves. The family will resettle in Jalalabad and work for accommodation and food as they know people there. They are leaving because life is getting more difficult for the family. Economically it is harder to support everybody. Khan has visited Afghanistan five times and his happy that his children will be growing up in their own country. It will be the first time that the children will go there. The $150USD per family member that UNHCR supplies to voluntary repratriating Afghans will help support the family for about a month with travel, accomodation and food back in Afghanistan. In 2002 it cost $35-$45 per person to travel from Peshawar back to Afghanistan on a truck. This price went up due to fuel price increases to the current rate of $150 USD. 
info
×
An Afghan refugee adolescent boy of Tajik origin listens to a voluntary repatriation promotion undertaken as part of the PPVR program in the courtyard of an Afghan school in Hajicamp town, Peshawar, a community with many Afghan refugees residing. A UNHCR Pakistan government initiative, the Population Profiling Verification Response (PPVR) program involves three steps to aid in data collection on the Afghan refugee community in Pakistan. 60% of the population of 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan have been covered since the program began. The survey is undertaken in 21 districts of Pakistan. 
info
×
 Toor Lalai, 50 years old sits in a wheelchair at his flood damaged home as reconstruction work goes on in the Khazana refugee camp, Peshawar. He came to Peshawar 30 years ago from Jalalabad. He returned to fight jihad against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and had his legs shot up which resulted in him being in a wheel chair. He has 12 children, the oldest of which is 22 years old. His children work as daily wage laborers in a Peshawar market to support the family. He would not consider returning to Afghanistan as there are no livelihood opportunities there compared to in Pakistan. He will remain in Pakistan as long as he can. The camp was established when refugees flooded across the border from Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet occupation. The refugee camp has a population of 2500 and during the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan most families were affected. The majority of people rebuilt their houses after the floods with their own resources. The most vulnerable also received support from UNHCR for reconstruction. 
info
×
Amna, 8 years old, stands in the shadow of a tree in a courtyard in Bharakahu refugee camp. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
Zahoor, 18 years old, stands outside his school ushering in students at the Khazana refugee camp in Peshawar. The camp was established when refugees flooded across the border from Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet occupation. The refugee camp has a population of 2500 and during the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan most families were affected. The majority of people rebuilt their houses after the floods with their own resources. The most vulnerable also received support from UNHCR for reconstruction. 
info
×
 Sajid, 6 years old (pink), Tasleem, 8 years old (red) an Sabar Mina, 7 years old (black) sit with their foster parent Hamedullah. In 2007 a roof collapsed killing their parents children and they are being cared for by a relative Hamedullah who came to Pakistan 30 years ago from Jalalabad. He would not return back to Afghanistan saying “We have nothing there." The camp was established when refugees flooded across the border from Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet occupation. The refugee camp has a population of 2500 and during the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan most families were affected. The majority of people rebuilt their houses after the floods with their own resources. The most vulnerable also received support from UNHCR for reconstruction. 
info
×

Children work in a carpet weaving business in Tekhal Bala, Peshawar, a community with many Afghan refugees residing.

 A UNHCR Pakistan government initiative, the Population Profiling Verification Response (PPVR) program involves three steps to aid in data collection on the Afghan refugee community in Pakistan. 60% of the population of 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan have been covered since the program began. The survey is undertaken in 21 districts of Pakistan. 

info
×
Horse drawn carts make their way along a road to Rawalpindi market in I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
A student stands next to a blackboard at a school in the Khazana refugee camp, Peshawar. The camp was established when refugees flooded across the border from Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet occupation. The refugee camp has a population of 2500 and during the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan most families were affected. The majority of people rebuilt their houses after the floods with their own resources. The most vulnerable also received support from UNHCR for reconstruction. 
info
×
A student recites from an exercise book during morning lessons at a school in the Khazana refugee camp, Peshawar. The camp was established when refugees flooded across the border from Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet occupation. The refugee camp has a population of 2500 and during the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan most families were affected. The majority of people rebuilt their houses after the floods with their own resources. The most vulnerable also received support from UNHCR for reconstruction. 
info
×
A tailor sews in his storefront at Khazana refugee camp, Peshawar. The camp was established when refugees flooded across the border from Afghanistan during the 1979 Soviet occupation. The refugee camp has a population of 2500 and during the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan most families were affected. The majority of people rebuilt their houses after the floods with their own resources. The most vulnerable also received support from UNHCR for reconstruction. 
info
×
 Boys play next to a small lake in I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
Students at a primary school attend morning classes in I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
Students at a primary school attend morning classes in I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
Teenage boys and children play in a tree in I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
A boy sits on a railway bridge tower in I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×

Daughters of Afghan nomad sheperds within their tent encampment I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. They settle in Islamabad over the winter for 4 months and the rest of the time they live in Haripur in mud houses. They come here to sell their sheep, each going for 22,000 PKR. The family is originally from the Kabul region. 

Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 

info
×
Women in burkas walk alongside a government area next to I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad..Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
Raees, 22 years sits with his cousin Saeed, 17 years old in the main entertaining room of their home in Bharakahu refugee camp outside Islamabad. Raees works in his family business of selling fabrics for clothing. The family has gradually shifted their business from Jalalabad to Pakistan. He travels back to Jalalabad for weddings and special events. He plans to start another business selling fish to local hotels. Even though he cannot open a bank account as an Afghan citizen or buy property he runs his business smoothly. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×

Abid(standing left), an activist working for Society for Human Rights and Prisoners’ Aid (SHARP), talks with elders from Bharakahu refugee camp. Some young men from the community were just arrested by local police because they supposedly were not holding correct identification papers. The police often unlawfully arrest Afghans under the premise of  having inadequate identification documents and pressure them to may bribes for their release from custody. Members of SHARP are generally contacted by elders from the community and they then contact the local police departments or courts to secure release of detained Afghans. 

 Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 

info
×
Men sit on a rock ledge overlooking I-11 refugee camp in Islamabad. Afghan refugees were resettled here from another location in Islamabad two years ago. Residents compain that they have inadequate water pumps and supply of electricity. The majority of men work as labourers in the Rawalpindi vegetable market, less than one kilometre from the camp. They earn on average 300-400 ($4-$5) a day. Afghan nomad sheperds also settle in the area over the winter months with their flocks of sheep. Many of the refugees here lived in a Haripur refugee camp on their arrival to Pakistan 30 years ago after the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 by Soviet forces. They then resettled in Islamabad over the last 18 years. 
info
×
Using Format