‘I am pleased that we can increase our support to UN agencies operating at the border and inside Afghanistan. As winter looms, needs will increase, making sufficient humanitarian assistance even more critical. Norway remains committed to supporting the humanitarian response in Afghanistan’, said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.’
19 Dec 2023 - Norway increases its support for Afghanistan with USD 3.8 million (NOK 40 million) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and USD 2.9 million (NOK 30 million) to the UN World Food Program (WFP), due to the large influx of Afghans repatriated from Pakistan.
This brings the Norwegian support for the humanitarian response in Afghanistan for 2023 to approximately USD 30.6 million (NOK 320 million).
Since 3 October, Pakistani authorities have implemented a repatriation plan for undocumented foreigners to leave Pakistan, including an estimated 1.3 million undocumented Afghans.
‘The Afghans arriving at the border are extremely vulnerable. Many are families with children. According to the UN, most returnees need critical aid, including shelter, water, food, sanitation, healthcare, and protection’, said Eide.
Pakistan authorities have imposed limits on the assets Afghans are allowed to bring across the border. This adds a burden and increases the vulnerability of the returnees.
‘Most of the recent arrivals to Afghanistan need humanitarian support, which adds to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. This grave situation deserves more attention’, said Eide.
Norway recognizes Pakistan’s decades-long solidarity with Afghanistan and the burden associated with being a host country for several million refugees. Norway encourages that the implementation of the repatriation plan respect the human rights and dignity of the individuals concerned. Norway shares UNHCR’s concerns about the adverse effects of the arrest, detention and forced return of Afghan nationals, including asylum seekers and individuals with valid documents.
‘While the international society is deeply concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, we must not lose sight of other humanitarian crises. Norway has strong sympathy with the Afghan people’, said Eide.
In 2023 the total Norwegian aid amounted to approximately USD 83.7 million (NOK 875 million).