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2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Afghanistan

| Overview |

Working environment

UNHCR 2015 Afghanistan country operations map

  • It is anticipated that the newly-formed national unity Government will demonstrate commitment to creating an enabling environment for sustainable returns. The withdrawal of international security forces, as well as a complex economic transition are, however, likely to affect peace, security and development in Afghanistan. Humanitarian needs are not expected to diminish in 2015. Support and assistance from the international community will be essential to ensure a transition towards more stable development.

  • The Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) remains the main policy framework for sustainable reintegration of those returning to Afghanistan. The National Steering Committee established in 2014 aims to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the SSAR's initiatives. z Many returnees have migrated to towns and cities, contributing to the country's rapid urbanization. As rising poverty and unemployment in urban centres prevent them from reintegrating into society, many will need basic assistance.

  • Currently, there is no national asylum and refugee legislation in Afghanistan, so UNHCR is conducting refugee status determination (RSD). A draft national refugee and asylum law, prepared with UNHCR assistance, is awaiting inclusion in the 2015 legislation agenda.

  • The Government of Afghanistan respects the principle of non-refoulement and host communities have provided generous support; however, refugees face protection concerns related to the volatile security situation, and difficulties in accessing basic services.

  • Insurgency continues to spread from southern Afghanistan to large areas of the north and centre and is likely to remain a threat to stability in 2015. While violence may displace more people, insecurity is likely to continue restricting humanitarian access. Economic insecurity and the Government's limited capacity to provide basic services are also challenges.

People of concern

Since 2002, more than 5.8 million Afghan refugees have returned home, 4.7 million of whom were assisted by UNHCR. Representing 20 per cent of Afghanistan's population, returnees remain a key population of concern to UNHCR. Refugee returns have dwindled during the past five years and owing to insecurity and a difficult socio-economic situation, only around 10,000 refugees returned during the first seven months of 2014.

In June 2014, following military operations in North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan, more than 13,000 families (some 100,000 people) crossed into Khost and Paktika provinces in south-eastern Afghanistan. Many of them settled within host communities, however approximately 3,300 families reside in Gulan camp, Khost province. A substantial number could remain in Afghanistan, despite expectations that an early return may be possible.

By mid-2014, 683,000 people were internally displaced by the conflict affecting 30 of the 34 Afghan provinces. More than half of Afghanistan's internally displaced people (IDPs) live in urban areas.

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Afghanistan
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 1,204,440 1,204,440 1,443,170 1,443,170
Refugees Islamic Rep. of Iran 40 40 40 40
Pakistan 50 50 60 60
Various 10 10 10 10
People in refugee-like situations Pakistan 21,000 21,000 21,000 21,000
Asylum-seekers Islamic Rep. of Iran 20 20 20 20
Pakistan 40 40 50 50
Various 10 10 10 10
Returnee arrivals during year (ex-refugees) Afghanistan 172,000 172,000 172,000 172,000
Internally displaced Afghanistan 765,000 765,000 900,000 900,000
Returnee arrivals during year (ex-IDPs) Afghanistan 45,000 45,000 45,000 45,000
Others of concern Afghanistan 201,280 201,280 305,000 305,000

| Response |

Needs and strategies

The SSAR remains the regional policy framework and aims to enhance the reintegration of refugee returnees by strengthening partnerships with development actors and advocating sustainable solutions for people of concern.

Shelter remains the most pressing need for returnees, IDPs and people in a refugee-like situation, particularly in large cities, where land issues are prevalent. Another critical issue throughout Afghanistan is a lack of both drinking and irrigation water.

Scarce resources and limited basic infrastructure are linked to poor employment opportunities, which also affect the sustainable reintegration of Afghan returnees.

Women and girls face challenges in attending school, obtaining identification cards, or participating in local decision-making structures. Standard referral and response mechanisms for survivors of violence do not yet exist in Afghanistan. In rural areas, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) lack psychological and social support. UNHCR has a five-year plan to prevent SGBV in Afghanistan and promote women's empowerment.

| Implementation |

Coordination

The national steering committee, under the auspices of the SSAR, was established in 2014. The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, and its provincial departments, remain UNHCR's main government counterparts for voluntary repatriation, sustainable return and reintegration.

UNHCR participates in the 2014-2019 Common Country Assessment/UN Development Assistance Framework (CCA/UNDAF) process to ensure returnees and IDPs feature prominently in development priorities. The SSAR will be closely aligned with the UN Secretary-General's Policy Committee Decision on Durable Solutions.

UNHCR leads the protection cluster and co-leads the emergency shelter and non-food items cluster for IDPs. A road map for IDP policy implementation has been adopted and action plans will be drawn up.

2015 UNHCR partners in Afghanistan
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, Departments of Refugees and Repatriation, Departments of Public Health and Departments of Education at the provincial level
NGOs: Afghan General Help Coordination Office; Afghan Planning Agency; Afghan Red Crescent Society; Afghan Unique Development Organization; Ansari Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan; Assistance for Health, Education and Development; Central Afghanistan Welfare Committee; Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance; Coordination of Rehabilitation and Development Services for Afghanistan; Development Humanitarian Services for Afghanistan; Humanitarian Action for the People of Afghanistan, Mediothek Afghanistan; New Irrigation Organization; Norwegian Project Office/Rural Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan; Organization for Development Care and Gender; Organization for Relief Development; Organization for Research and Community Development; Organization of Human Welfare; Razi Social Development Organization; Reconstruction and Social Services for Afghanistan Organization; Rehabilitation Association and Agriculture Development for Afghanistan; Sanayee Development Organization; Shafaq Reconstruction Organization; Shelter Now International; The Liaison Office; Voluntary Association for the Rehabilitation of Afghanistan; Watan's Social and Technical Services Association; Welfare and Development Organization for Afghanistan; Women for Afghan Women; Youth Assembly for Afghanistan Rehabilitation
Others: Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Refugee Council, UNV
Operational partners
Government agencies: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; Ministry of Energy and Water; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled; Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development; Ministry of Women's Affairs
NGOs: Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief; Afghan Red Crescent Society; Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council
Others: Asian Development Bank, ILO, IOM, OCHA, UNICEF, UN Women, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and UN Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACCA), World Bank, WFP

| Financial information |

The decrease in the Afghanistan operation's budget from 2012 to 2013 reflected dwindling returns associated with heightened uncertainty amongst refugees and a complex transition process.

The new refugee situation (people fleeing the conflict in North Waziristan in Pakistan) into Khost and Paktika provinces that has arisen since June 2014 will require additional resources that were not planned and therefore not reflected in the 2014 budget.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update


UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Representative in Afghanistan
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in Afghanistan
Street Address 41,Jadi Solh (Peace Avenue), Shar-e-Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan
Mailing Address P.O. Box 3232, ***POUCH STILL VIA LO-OFFICE FOR UNHCR, REPRESENTATION AFGHANISTAN IN ISLAMABAD***, Kabul, Afghanistan
Telephone 41 22 739 7500
Facsimile 41 22 739 7501
Email afgka@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 4.3
Working Hours
Monday:7:45 - 16:15
Tuesday:7:45 - 16:15
Wednesday:7:45 - 16:15
Thursday:7:45 - 16:15
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:7:45 - 16:15
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year
13 January 2014, Prophet's Birthday
21 March 2014, Nawroz
28 June 2014, First Day of Ramadan
28 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
04 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
05 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
03 November 2014, Tenth of Moharam
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Mazar-I-Sharif
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Mazar-I-Sharif
Street Address Kart-e Shafakhana, Behind Mandawi, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan
Mailing Address p.o. Box 1263, House 24, Street 89, G-6/3,, Pakistan, Islamabad, Afghanistan
Telephone 41 22 739 7504
Facsimile 41 22 739 7505
Email afgma@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 4.3
Working Hours
Monday:7:45 - 16:15
Tuesday:7:45 - 16:15
Wednesday:7:45 - 16:15
Thursday:7:45 - 16:15
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:7:45 - 16:15
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year
13 January 2014, Prophet's Birthday
21 March 2014, Nawroz
28 June 2014, First Day of Ramadan
28 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
04 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
05 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
03 November 2014, Tenth of Moharam
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Sub-Office in Herat
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Herat
Street Address Park Round About, End of Majidi Street,, Herat, Afghanistan
Mailing Address Afghanistan
Telephone 41 22 739 7506
Facsimile 90 93 042 080
Email AFGHE@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 4.3
Working Hours
Monday:08:00 - 16:30
Tuesday:08:00 - 16:30
Wednesday:08:00 - 16:30
Thursday:08:00 - 16:30
Friday:
Saturday:
Sunday:08:00 - 16:30
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year
13 January 2014, Prophet's Birthday
21 March 2014, Nawroz
28 June 2014, First Day of Ramadan
28 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
04 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
05 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
03 November 2014, Tenth of Moharam
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Afghanistan [1]
Refugees [2] 16,863
Asylum Seekers [3] 66
Returned Refugees [4] 39,666
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 631,286
Returned IDPs [6] 21,830
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 275,486
Total Population of Concern 985,197
Originating from Afghanistan [1]
Refugees [2] 2,556,556
Asylum Seekers [3] 75,294
Returned Refugees [4] 39,666
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 631,286
Returned IDPs [6] 21,830
Various [8] 275,817
Total Population of Concern 3,600,449
Government Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014 0
2013 1,000
2012 1,000
2011 0
2010 0
2009 0
2008 0
2007 0
2006 0
2005 0
2004 0
2003 0
2002 0
2001 0
2000 0

Afghanistan UNHCR Fundraising Reports Rss FeedUNHCR Fundraising Reports

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Rebuilding Lives in Afghanistan

With elections scheduled in October, 2004 is a crucial year for the future of Afghanistan, and Afghans are returning to their homeland in record numbers. In the first seven months of 2004 alone, more than half a million returned from exile. In all, more than 3.6 million Afghans have returned since UNHCR's voluntary repatriation programme started in 2002.

The UN refugee agency and its partner organisations are working hard to help the returnees rebuild their lives in Afghanistan. Returnees receive a grant to cover basic needs, as well as access to medical facilities, immunisations and landmine awareness training.

UNHCR's housing programme provides tool kits and building supplies for families to build new homes where old ones have been destroyed. The agency also supports the rehabilitation of public buildings as well as programmes to rehabilitate the water supply, vocational training and cash-for-work projects.

Rebuilding Lives in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Rebuilding a War-Torn Country

The cycle of life has started again in Afghanistan as returnees put their shoulders to the wheel to rebuild their war-torn country.

Return is only the first step on Afghanistan's long road to recovery. UNHCR is helping returnees settle back home with repatriation packages, shelter kits, mine-awareness training and vaccination against diseases. Slowly but surely, Afghans across the land are reuniting with loved ones, reconstructing homes, going back to school and resuming work. A new phase in their lives has begun.

Watch the process of return, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconstruction unfold in Afghanistan through this gallery.

Afghanistan: Rebuilding a War-Torn Country

Home Without Land

Land is hot property in mountainous Afghanistan, and the lack of it is a major reason Afghans in exile do not want to return.

Although landless returnees are eligible for the Afghan government's land allocation scheme, demand far outstrips supply. By the end of 2007, the authorities were developing 14 settlements countrywide. Nearly 300,000 returnee families had applied for land, out of which 61,000 had been selected and 3,400 families had actually moved into the settlements.

Desperate returnees sometimes have to camp in open areas or squat in abandoned buildings. Others occupy disputed land where aid agencies are not allowed to build permanent structures such as wells or schools.

One resilient community planted itself in a desert area called Tangi in eastern Afghanistan. With help from the Afghan private sector and the international community, water, homes, mosques and other facilities have sprouted – proof that the right investment and commitment can turn barren land into the good earth.

Posted on 31 January 2008

Home Without Land

Afghan Street Children Turn from Beggars to Beauticians

A UNHCR-funded project in Kabul, Afghanistan, is helping to keep returnee children off the streets by teaching them to read and write, give them room to play and offer vocational training in useful skills such as tailoring, flower making, and hairstyling.

Every day, Afghan children ply the streets of Kabul selling anything from newspapers to chewing gum, phone cards and plastic bags. Some station themselves at busy junctions and weave through traffic waving a can of smoking coal to ward off the evil eye. Others simply beg from passing strangers.

There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 street children in the Afghan capital alone. Among them are those who could not afford an education as refugees in Iran or Pakistan, and are unable to go to school as returnees in Afghanistan because they have to work from dawn to dusk to support their families. For the past seven years, a UNHCR-funded project has been working to bring change.

Posted on 12 November 2008

Afghan Street Children Turn from Beggars to Beauticians

The Reality of Return in Afghanistan

Beyond the smiles of homecoming lie the harsh realities of return. With more than 5 million Afghans returning home since 2002, Afghanistan's absorption capacity is reaching saturation point.

Landmine awareness training at UNHCR's encashment centres – their first stop after returning from decades in exile – is a sombre reminder of the immense challenges facing this war-torn country. Many returnees and internally displaced Afghans are struggling to rebuild their lives. Some are squatting in tents in the capital, Kabul. Basic needs like shelter, land and safe drinking water are seldom met. Jobs are scarce, and long queues of men looking for work are a common sight in marketplaces.

Despite the obstacles, their spirit is strong. Returning Afghans – young and old, women and men – seem determined to do their bit for nation building, one brick at a time.

Posted on 31 January 2008

The Reality of Return in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The Reality of Return

The UN refugee agency and the World Food Programme join forces to improve the lives of Afghan returnees in the east of the country

After more than two decades of war, Afghanistan faces enormous recovery needs. The rugged, landlocked nation remains one of the poorest in the world, with more than half its 25 million citizens living below the poverty line. Furthermore, the rise in global food prices has affected more than 2.5 million Afghans, who can no longer afford to buy staples such as wheat flour.

Since 2002, more than 5 million Afghans have gone back home, with a large proportion returning to the eastern provinces. The returnees face huge challenges, such as insecurity, food shortages, insufficient shelter, unemployment and a lack of access to basic services.

UNHCR and WFP are working in partnership to help returnees in Afghanistan to rebuild their lives, particularly in the east. Programmes such as skills training, micro hydroelectricity projects and food distribution have helped Afghans get back on their feet and work towards creating sustainable livelihoods.

Posted on 18 September 2008

Afghanistan: The Reality of Return

Afghans Return Home

In the six months since some 150 families returned from Pakistan's Jalozai refugee village, they have faced land problems and ethnic tensions. Today, however, they face the prospect of spending a bitter winter in northern Afghanistan with little more for shelter than canvas tents.

After 23 years of exile in Pakistan, Qayum and his family returned home to northern Afghanistan earlier this year ago after negotiating to buy land in Sholgara district. But a local tribe refused to let Qayum and his neighbours unload their trucks. The provincial authorities moved them to their current site at Mohajir Qeshlaq. The government has promised Qayum and his neighbours land, but until individual plots can be demarcated and distributed, nobody can build. This means that the entire returnee village - some 150 families - lives under canvas. As the weather turns cold, the prospect of spending an Afghan winter in a tent becomes reality. Returnees also face a food shortage, insufficient water and lack of livelihood opportunities.

In an effort to help, UNHCR will provide supplies to Qayum and his community through the winter. Once the land issue is resolved, the agency will also dig wells and provide shelter assistance to the most vulnerable families at Mohajir Qeshlaq. But it will take more to turn this makeshift settlement into something they can call home.

Afghans Return Home

Zalmaï. Panoramic photo gallery

See Afghanistan through the eyes of a returning refugee as Afghan photographer Zalmaï revisits his homeland after more than 20 years in exile.

"My project tries to capture the determination and the courage of a people that has rarely known peace, their optimism against all odds, and their worry that Afghanistan could still return to the nightmarish condition it is trying to escape," says Zalmaï.

In addition to the emotional journey, this exhibition also marked an aesthetic milestone for the photographer. "I felt that now, after such a long time, there was hope again for Afghanistan. It seemed to me that colours were returning and that they would be those of a peaceful country. And so I set out to find this hope, with – for the first time – colour film in my camera."

Take a peep into this kaleidoscope of Zalmaï's Afghanistan.

Zalmaï. Panoramic photo gallery

Afghanistan: An Uncertain Future

For over a quarter of a century, Afghanistan has been devastated by conflict and civil strife, with some 8 million people uprooted internally and in neighbouring countries. The overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 resulted in one of the largest and most successful return operations in history.

Seven years on, more than 5 million Afghan refugees have returned - increasing Afghanistan's population by an estimated 20 percent.The large majority have gone back to their areas of origin. However, some recent returnees are facing more difficulties as the country's absorption capacity reaches its limits in some areas. Last year, some Afghans returned before they were ready or able to successfully reintegrate due to the closure of refugee villages as well as the deteriorating conditions in Pakistan. In consequence, 30,000 Afghan refugees returned to further displacement in their homeland, unable to return to their villages due to conflict, lack of land, shelter materials, basic services and job opportunities. These challenges have been compounded elsewhere across the country by food insecurity and severe drought.

UNHCR and the Afghan Foreign Ministry highlighted the requirements for sustainable refugee return and reintegration at an international conference in Kabul in November 2008. The donor community welcomed the inclusion of refugee reintegration within the government's five-year national development strategy and the emphasis on land, shelter, water, sanitation, education, health care and livelihoods. It is anticipated that repatriation and reintegration will become more challenging in future.

Afghanistan: An Uncertain Future

Author Hosseini in Afghanistan

UNHCR Goodwill Envoy Khaled Hosseini visited Afghanistan in early September and saw first-hand one of the UN refugee agency's largest and most complex operations. During a 10-day trip, the best-selling author visited UNHCR projects and met returnees in the northern provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, Balkh, Parwan and Kabul. Hosseini, a former Afghan refugee now settled in the United States, noted that it would take time and effort for Afghanistan to provide returnees with adequate infrastructure and services. He urged the international community to remain committed to Afghanistan and to give the country time. Hosseini could not visit the south and parts of the east, where insecurity is impacting on the ability of UNHCR to assess needs and provide assistance to those who need it the most. Since 2003, UNHCR has helped more than 4 million refugees return to Afghanistan. This year, some 300,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan. More than 900,000 remain in Iran and 2 million in Pakistan.

Author Hosseini in Afghanistan

Angelina Jolie promotes reintegration of Afghan returnees

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie in March 2011 returned to Afghanistan. On her second trip to the country, the acclaimed actress called for greater focus to be put on the reintegration of former refugees. More than 5.5 million refugees have returned since 2002, mainly from Pakistan and Iran, and now make up 20 per cent of the population. UNHCR is concerned that too many of these refugees continue to live without jobs, shelter and other basic needs.

Jolie caught up with several families she had met in 2008, still living in a dilapidated warehouse in Kabul. She was moved to see the families struggling to survive in the cold damp building. Children spend their days washing cars for money instead of attending school; the old and sick told Jolie of their pain to be such a burden on the young.

The actress also visited returned refugees living on the Alice Ghan and Barikab land allocation schemes north of Kabul. The returnees told her they were grateful for their houses but needed help with livelihoods. Jolie also visited Qala Gadu village, where she is funding the construction of a girls' primary school.

Angelina Jolie promotes reintegration of Afghan returnees

More focus needed on reintegration of former Afghan refugees

Many of the more than 5.5 million Afghan refugees who have returned home since 2002 are still struggling to survive. Lack of land, job opportunities and other services, combined with poor security in some places, has caused many returnees to head to urban areas. While cities offer the promise of informal day labour, the rising cost of rental accommodation and basic commodities relegate many returnees to life in one of the informal settlements which have mushroomed across Kabul in recent years. Some families are living under canvases and the constant threat of eviction, while others have gained a toe-hold in abandoned buildings around the city.

UNHCR gives humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable, and is currently rallying support from donors and humanitarian and development agencies to redouble efforts to help returning refugees reintegrate in Afghanistan.

More focus needed on reintegration of former Afghan refugees

Afghan Refugees in Iran

At a recent conference in Geneva, the international community endorsed a "solutions strategy" for millions of Afghan refugees and those returning to Afghanistan after years in exile. The plan, drawn up between Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and UNHCR, aims to support repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries.

It will benefit refugee returnees to Afghanistan as well as 3 million Afghan refugees, including 1 million in Iran and 1.7 million in Pakistan.

Many of the refugees in Iran have been living there for more than three decades. This photo set captures the lives of some of these exiles, who wait in hope of a lasting solution to their situation.

Afghan Refugees in Iran

Cold, Uncomfortable and Hungry in Calais

For years, migrants and asylum-seekers have flocked to the northern French port of Calais in hopes of crossing the short stretch of sea to find work and a better life in England. This hope drives many to endure squalid, miserable conditions in makeshift camps, lack of food and freezing temperatures. Some stay for months waiting for an opportunity to stow away on a vehicle making the ferry crossing.

Many of the town's temporary inhabitants are fleeing persecution or conflict in countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. And although these people are entitled to seek asylum in France, the country's lack of accommodation, administrative hurdles and language barrier, compel many to travel on to England where many already have family waiting.

With the arrival of winter, the crisis in Calais intensifies. To help address the problem, French authorities have opened a day centre as well as housing facilities for women and children. UNHCR is concerned with respect to the situation of male migrants who will remain without shelter solutions. Photographer Julien Pebrel recently went to Calais to document their lives in dire sites such as the Vandamme squat and next to the Tioxide factory.

Cold, Uncomfortable and Hungry in Calais

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