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Afghanistan: Asylum

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the availability of housing and housing materials for refugees in Afghanistan who have been repatriated from Iran and Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. (242197)

Reliable nationwide data on housing for refugees are not available. However, in the eastern region more than 10,730 returning families (over 59,800 people) required shelter support from UNHCR in 2008. This amounts to approximately 35 per cent. of the total returning to the region. Eastern Afghanistan received 63 per cent. of all refugee returnees in 2008.

There is no shortage of building material for Afghan housing, usually constructed of mud and bricks. However, there is a shortage of skilled labour and this, coupled with rising material costs and the high number of refugees returning (over 275,000 in 2008), is slowing the rebuilding process.