The Core Group and its members are requested to galvanize more predictable and sustained financial, political and technical support for the SSAR, with emphasis on additional contributions, as well as raise awareness and visibility of the Afghan refugee situation.
The Core Group holds meetings at the headquarters level (called ‘Global Core Group’). It has also composed local Core Groups in each of the main SSAR countries – Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan (called ‘local Core Groups’).
In Afghanistan, a local Core Group for the Support Platform was established in March 2021, chaired by the EU. The local Core Group was jointly convened in March with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR). It met on three occasions between March and August 2021 to discuss support for Afghanistan from the international community, in particular with a focus on priority areas of return and reintegration (PARRs). A virtual mission of the Core Group to Afghanistan was organised in June, offering the headquarter-based members of the Group an opportunity to see the work ongoing in PARRs and interact with returnees.
In Iran, a local Core Group for the SSAR Support Platform was established in April 2021. Members participate in meetings virtually due to COVID-19 and are joined by the EU as Chair. Core Group ambassadors and representatives resident in Iran have met once in 2021 to launch the initiative and discuss priority areas of support to Iran. A further meeting of the members is planned before the end of 2021, including with the expanded purpose of coordinating support for emergency refugee response needs.
In Pakistan, the local Core Group was established in April 2021. It is chaired by the EU Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E. Androullah Kaminara. The group comprises working level and ambassadorial levelmeetings. Australia, Canada, and Belgium have also joined the local Core Group for meetings. In 2021, the group adopted a three-pillar workplan and added a fourth pillar with the escalation of the crisis in Afghanistan. While retaining a strong focus on the existing refugee population, the local Core Group is attentive to potential new needs. The workplan looks closely at how to support the Government of Pakistan, namely through reinforcement of their public services to which they have granted refugees access. Solutions are also in the forefront. The group has established a working relationship with the Minister of SAFRON. A small group of the ambassadors and representatives met with Pakistan’s Minister of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) on two occasions to share news about the Core Group’s work and its support to Pakistan. In June 2021, a virtual mission was organised for the Core Group which highlighted host community needs and refugee support requirements in Pakistan.