250,000 Afghan children deported or returned from Pakistan lack basic necessities

Save the Children has reported that 250,000 Afghan children, who were either deported or returned voluntarily from Pakistan, urgently require proper housing, food, and educational opportunities.

According to the organization, these children represent nearly half of the 52,000 Afghans deported since September 2023.

The report highlighted a survey by Save the Children which found that 99% of the deportees are facing severe food shortages, anticipating insufficient food supplies for the next one to two months. “Approximately 40% of the returnees and their host families had to borrow food or depend on friends and relatives for sustenance at least three days a week, with 13% of returnees and 9% of host families requiring aid daily,” the report stated.

The survey also revealed that about one in six families are living in tents, and most returnees have scant means of support.

Eight-year-old Meena, deported along with her family, shared her plight: “I used to attend school in Pakistan, but since returning here six months ago, there are no schools for me. I now try to earn money on the streets to survive.”

Eight-year-old Meena, who has been deported along with her family from Pakistan.

Furthermore, Save the Children noted that 65% of these children have not been enrolled in schools since their return to Afghanistan. “A majority, 85%, reported not having the necessary documents to register for school. In contrast, more than two-thirds were attending school while in Pakistan,” the organization detailed.

The lack of employment opportunities compounds their challenges, with 47% of deportees stating that no jobs are available, and 81% lacking employable skills.