ISLAMABAD, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have launched a two-year 4 million Australian dollars (3 million U.S. dollars) project to help undocumented Afghans in Pakistan and their host communities, as well as those returning to Afghanistan, the United Nations refugee agency office in Islamabad said on Friday.
Pakistan still hosts nearly 2.5 million Afghan refugees, and around 1.3 million are still unregistered, according to the UN refugee agency.
In 2016, an unprecedented number of Afghans returned to Afghanistan, mainly from Pakistan and Iran. They included over 250,000 undocumented returnees and over 380,000 registered refugees.
This year, as of June 20, over 100,000 Afghans have returned home, including almost 70,000 undocumented returnees from Pakistan. This is a 250-percent increase over the number of returnees during the first six months of 2016, a UN statement said.
Australia's contribution will enable IOM and its partners to help the government of Pakistan to develop sustainable solutions for the estimated 500,000-600,000 Afghan nationals still living in Pakistan.
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