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170400Z NANGARHAR PRT, US EMBASSY REFUGEE COORDINATOR VISIT CONTINUED DAY 2
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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PRT Jalalabad APO AE 09354 17 October 2007 MEMORANDUM THRU Civil Affairs OIC, PRT Jalalabad, APO AE 09354 Commander, PRT Jalalabad, APO AE 09354 SUBJECT: Trip Report for US Embassy Refugee Coordinator visit 1. SUMMARY. Civil Affairs (CA), the US Embassy Refugee Coordinator, Allison Areias and the Refugee Specialist, Naseer Ayanee the UNHCR office at Torkham Gate (42S XC 93059 77697), the Mohmand Dara Encashment Center (42S XC 72873 90967), the Hesarshahi FATA Cluster (42S XC 51542 98697) and the Wuch Tangi Cluster (42S XD 40854 17662) 2. BACKGROUND a. General. The US Embassy Population Refugee and Migration (PRM) section has a $50 Million re-settlement project (SMNT) implemented through UNHCR as well as the possibility of more projects in the future. The Refugee Coordinator, Allison, is conducting a site survey to check on the status of this investment in Nangarhar Province. The Refugee Coordinator is also conducting an assessment on the need of additional returnee projects in Nangarhar Province. b. Mission Specifics. (1) The UNHCR office at Torkham Gate is responsible for tracking reverse immigration (Afghans leaving to go back to Pakistan). The Pakistan UNHCR office is responsible for tracking the number of returnees coming back to Afghanistan. The employee that works in this office is a Director of Refugees and Returnees (DoRR) employee, but he submits reports to both the DoRR and UNHCR. The worker has been at the office for five months and on average he sees about 3-4 families a day that are migrating back to Pakistan. The offices method for identifying Afghans returning to Pakistan is to literally stand out in the crowd and look for people moving across the border with luggage and other belongings (Those that look like they are not coming back). (2) On the other side of the border, families returning to Afghanistan are required to fill out a document (twice). The returning party keeps one copy and the UNHCR office keeps the other copy. Only personnel that do not have a Proof of Registration (POR) card are required to fill out this document. Before returnees can enter Afghanistan a retinal scan is taken and their POR card is cut. This is to allow the Pakistan government to maintain a record of the individual if they were to return to Pakistan. . (3) The Encashment Center in Mohmand Dara is the first stop once families leave the Torkham border. Families are given a cash (US dollar) stipend that is intended to help them relocate back to their area of origin. The value of the stipend is based on the area the families are returning to. Families remaining in Nangarhar are given $93 (10$ for travel and $83 for relocation). Families returning to Laghman, Kunar or Nuristan Provinces are given $101 ($18 for travel and $83 for relocation). The Encashment Center also has a fully staffed clinic that all returnees have access to with an ambulance. If needed, patients are transported to the Ghani Kel hospital 5 kilometers away. (4) Wuch Tangi has changed a great deal since the PRT last visited. There is now a mobile clinic, a playground and the school tents have been moved closer to the road and the old school location is being prepped for a building foundation. UNHCR, UNICEF and IMC are investing a great deal of resources into this area. A brief meeting was held between Mawlawi Mohammad Tawkahlid, village elder, US Embassy personnel and the UNHCR personnel. Mawlawi Mohammad spoke briefly about leaving Pakistan two years ago, settling in this valley and the improvements that have been made thus far. According to the Mawlawi Mohammad there is still great need for drinking water and the income generating activities are needed. Wuch Tangi currently has 15 wells. 3. Additional Data and Analysis Local day laborers are allowed to move freely back and forth across the border. According to locals that work at the border, bribery is very prevalent. CA was told that on average a Pashtun may get charged 30-40 rupees to cross while Tajiks or Uzbeks can be charged up to 1000 rupees to cross the border. The Pakistan Frontier Corps mans the Pakistan side of the border while the Afghanistan Border Police man the Afghan side. There were many locals that were happy to see Coalition Forces and UNHCR there because when outside agencies are present, the bribery ceases. 4. Point of Contact for this memorandum is CPT Middleton at DSN 481-7341. Maurice Z. Middleton CPT, CA CAT-B Team Leader