The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Bank, the other day signed a data sharing agreement to strengthen existing data collection processes.
The agreement would also help enhance technical capacity for a comprehensive analysis of the return process and how best to support the reintegration of returnees over time.
Following is part of a statement taken by The Kabul Times Monitoring Desk from the organization published in an online website Wadsam economic and social news agency saying that Afghans represent the world’s largest protracted refugee population, and one of the largest populations that have been repatriated to their country of origin since 2002.
“This data sharing agreement will help to create a common understanding for better investments in the future of returning Afghans and the communities they return to.” said UNHCR Representative to Afghanistan Fathiaa Abdalla. She further added, “UNHCR is using data to inform projects such as our project in Mazar-e-Sharif for returnees and host communities. It links female carpet weaving artisans to the global market to foster their self-reliance for the future.”
UNHCR has since 2002 assisted over 5.2 million registered refugee returnees with cash and other assistance to meet their immediate humanitarian needs once they arrive in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, UNHCR also plays a key role in the humanitarian response for internal displacement caused by conflict and natural disasters.
While some refugee returnees continue to face complex challenges, UNHCR and the World Bank in Afghanistan are working with the Government to support Afghans to reintegrate when they choose to return home.
UNHCR believes that early access to reliable data for development programs is important to mobilize resources and plan for the longer term from the beginning. The collection and use of high quality and timely data is essential for evidenced based programming and for the effective and efficient use of resources. A better informed and a more sustainable response to Afghan refugee returnees and internal displacement underpins a coordinated humanitarian-development approach for sustainable reintegration.
“This collaboration builds on the efforts over the last year to bridge the humanitarian-development nexus here in Afghanistan,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “By combining UNHCR’s frontline humanitarian presence and data collection efforts, with the World Bank’s analytic capacity, we hope to provide timely and evidence-based inputs to support the Government of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan for the integration of returnees and internally displaced populations. The work will directly inform the design of a new government program, with financing from the World Bank, to support economic opportunities and integration of displaced people living in urban areas.”
UNHCR and the World Bank have been strengthening collaboration towards a global compact on refugees and in line with the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants as part of the Grand Bargain, which highlights the need to collect accurate and timely data to make informed policies and allocate resources appropriately.
The Kabul Times