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On October 3, 2023, the government of Pakistan announced that all undocumented migrants currently residing in the country must leave by November 1, 2023. The overwhelming number of people that are affected by this order are Afghan refugees who entered the country and have been living in Pakistan since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. 

Since the announcement, millions of Afghan refugees, many of whom have spent their entire lives in Pakistan, have been forced to rush to the border. An estimated 1.7 million people are affected by this order.

Our Response

Penny Appeal Canada is working with our partners on the ground to meet the immediate needs of Afghan returnees. In the immediate future we will be providing the support listed below and with the impending winter season, we will expand the programme include items necessary for the changing environmental conditions.

Relief items will include:

  • Distribution of food packs
  • Hot Meals
  • Baby Kits
  • Winterized Kits
  • Temporary Shelters (tents and blankets)
  • Warm Clothing

Current Conditions

So far, more than 120,000 Afghans have returned to Afghanistan, taking the few possessions they own with them. The main border crossings of Spin Boldak (Kandahar) and Torkhan (Nangarhar) have received the majority of these people. Activity at these border, crossings has increased to more than 4,500 individuals crossing into Afghanistan per day. Once the border is crossed, many find themselves having nowhere to go. They have no money for food, transportation, or rent. 

Thousands of people living in poor conditions on the Afghan side of the border are without access to food, proper shelter, running water or hygiene facilities. Many of these families have had to leave their belongings behind and are returning with nothing. They are in need of stability after being uprooted from their lives.


Penny Appeal Canada’s initial response is aimed at supporting 4000 people.  We anticipate the number of returnees will increase in the coming days, as we assess the situation on the ground regularly and the needs evolve.

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