Today, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan hosts over 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, shouldering a large share of the collective responsibility to protect them. Given the traditional mixed nature of cross-border movements in the region, Pakistan also hosts documented and undocumented Afghans who left their country in search of economic opportunity or access to basic services. The majority of Afghan refugees in Pakistan reside in urban and peri-urban areas, outside of refugee villages and settlements, relying on national public services that are available to them.
Despite its own challenges and the needs of their own populations, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has upheld its international protection obligations and pursued non-discriminatory policies, notably in areas of education, health care and human capital development.
This progressive approach is further evident in the inclusion of Afghan refugees in the Government’s national response plans to the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccinations. As such, the Support Platform also aims to galvanize international solidarity with and assistance for Pakistan in line with the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).