Afghanistan: Returned migrants say they lack access to healthcare, education

Several families who have been repatriated or deported from Iran and Pakistan say they originally left Afghanistan because of the two-decade-long wars but now face severe economic and social challenges upon returning.

These individuals report lacking basic services such as food, drinking water, healthcare, and education.

A family of four, who returned to Afghanistan from Iran more than two months ago, is pinning their hopes on Nasima, a family member. They returned to Herat and wish to go back to their hometown of Ghor but cannot afford the travel expenses.

According to the family members, life’s difficulties are overwhelming them.

Nasima, speaking to a reporter, said, “My husband is disabled. I buy fuel, suffer from low blood pressure and stomach issues, and I don’t have the money to see a doctor. We are struggling to get by.”

Additionally, families recently returned or expelled from Pakistan express concerns about their children’s future.

Lack of access to education, healthcare, job opportunities, and persistent poverty are the major worries for these returned or expelled migrants.

Khan Ahmad, another returnee, added, “Since the recent wars, which displaced us seven years ago, we suffered greatly. Our schools were destroyed, our village clinic was demolished; every misfortune seems to fall upon us.”

Despite these challenges, some returnees tell reporters that they left the country due to war and violence but now see no bright future upon their return.

Safdar Khan, a returnee, stated, “This place is our home; we spent a lot of time here. We had schools, a clinic, and good places; life was good. In the recent wars, we lost everything. The wars forced us to migrate from one city to another.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan has intensified the forced expulsion of migrants, and the latest report from the Taliban’s Ministry of Refugees states that more than 800 migrants have been forcibly deported from Pakistan to Afghanistan.