Afghanistan is currently facing a major humanitarian and displacement crisis in the aftermath of over 40 years of conflict and integration of a new de-facto government. The most recent Humanitarian Needs Overview1 highlighted a significant displacement crisis. Since the beginning of 2021, 866,889 Afghans have returned to the country from Pakistan and Iran2 which is an increase in comparison to previous years. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has also risen sharply. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) findings, there are currently more than 600,000 IDPs and more than 80% are expected to be women and children.3 The combined challenges of COVID-19, severe drought and the plunging Afghani (AFN) have spun Afghanistan into a food crisis with 22.8 million people facing high levels of acute food insecurity4 further contributing to the current humanitarian crisis and displacement issues.
Following the influx of refugees and returnees from Pakistan and Iran since 2016, the UNHCR has supported these populations through programmes aimed at providing durable solutions for returnee and long-term displaced populations in Afghanistan. In line with the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) and Comprehensive Refugees Framework (CRRF), 20 locations were identified by UNHCR as Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARR) and in March 2021 IMPACT Initiatives (IMPACT) conducted an evaluation of the Community-based Protection and Solutions Programme Response (Co-PROSPER) and its impact within these PARR locations.
Since the completion of this assessment, 20 new PARR locations have been identified. Similarly, to the previously assessed PARR locations, the baseline for the new locations was conducted in areas where large numbers of refugee-returnees have been living side by side with internally displaced people (IDPs) and host communities.
The assessment considered these population groups to understand if there were any need or programmatic impact disparities between the groups.
This booklet outlines the main findings from the baseline evaluation of the 20 PARR locations across Afghanistan. The findings are organized into six sections:
Community leadership inclusivity
Community relations and stability
Strengthening public service and equitable access
PARR program support activity impact and
Income generation and economic profile
This assessment also sought to generate maps specifying service access and outlining village boundaries of the selected PARR locations. The maps identify services such as water points, healthcare centers, schools, mosques, markets, community centers and cemeteries as well as their functionality and identify any accessibility issues faced by the population.