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Afghanistan: Refugees

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL7667, tabled on 5 April 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan regarding that government's plans (1) to ratify the Refugee Convention, and (2) to provide assistance to Hazaras from Afghanistan; and what discussions they have had with that government about the number of Afghan refugees who have fled to Pakistan, including (a) their estimate of how many are Hazaras, and (b) the assistance they received upon arrival.

Answered on

21 April 2022

The UK actively promotes the implementation of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country 'where they face serious threats to their life or freedom'. FCDO officials have discussed potential refugee flows from Afghanistan with the Government of Pakistan, and what assistance is available to new refugee arrivals.

The Government of Pakistan hosts 1.4 million Afghan refugees. UNHCR reports that between Jan 2021 and Feb 2022 117,547 Afghans arrived in Pakistan, 95,145 of whom arrived since August 2021. The ethnic breakdown of arrivals is 62% Pashtun, 17% Hazara, 11% Tajuk and 9% other. In Islamabad, the FCDO is providing assistance through the UN (UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF) to support existing and new refugee arrivals who may have entered Pakistan.