• Pakistan calls for aid for its millions of Afghan refugees

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    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, home for decades to millions of Afghan refugees, called for the support of the international community as it warned that without help, the flow of those fleeing Afghanistan’s decades-long war to Europe could increase. After the Soviet invasion in 1979, “5 million Afghan refugees came to Pakistan,” then with the support of the international community, said minister for border areas Abdul Qadir Baloch at a meeting devoted to Afghan refugees in the capital Islamabad Wednesday. Thirty-seven years later, there are 1.5 million registered and about as many undocumented refugees, with growing insecurity in Afghanistan impeding voluntary return programs. Over the last decade, international support has vanished, the minister said. Pakistan receives just $5.20 per refugee per year in international aid to provide the displaced with health care and education—and that is only for those who are registered.

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    AFP

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