Since 2014, more than 5.7 million undocumented Afghans have returned from Iran and Pakistan. 2020 and 2021 have seen undocumented returns at record high numbers: in 2021, over 1,170,500 undocumented Afghans returned, with over 1,150,000 from Iran and 20,500 from Pakistan. Migrants return to increasing levels of insecurity, climate change and violence. As the leading UN agency responsible for provision of emergency humanitarian post-arrival assistance to undocumented Afghans, IOM has assisted over 440,000 undocumented returnees with life-saving humanitarian assistance over the past 5 years.

IOM and partners provide vulnerable undocumented Afghans returning from Iran and Pakistan with immediate humanitarian post-arrival assistance at the four major border crossings, with Pakistan at Torkham and Spin Boldak, and with Iran at Islam Qala and Nimroz. Through eight IOM constructed and managed reception and transit centers, undocumented returnees are assisted with temporary accommodation, hot food and onward transportation. The Cross Border Assistance and Reintegration programme closely works with IOM’s Protection and Health units to make sure vulnerable migrants have access to medical care and protection assistance. Partners provide other critical services and information through IOM’s reception and transit centres, such as mine risk education.

Cross-Border Assistance activities are funded by Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Japan, Canada, the Central Emergency Fund and the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC) and Norway.