KABUL, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Sitting idle on a stone alongside the dusty road in Barikab, Noor Mohammad said he is looking for a person to buy his plot and enable him to buy a taxi.
Mohammad, a man in his forties, said that some four years ago, he got the plot in Barikab from the Ministry for Refugees and Repatriation Affairs with the noble objective to build house and live with his family there.
"It is not fit to live as there is no running water and no electricity. And above all, I have no job and no regular income to feed my children," Mohammad told Xinhua.
Hundreds of standing mud houses, full or empty, attract the attention of passersby in Barikab, a flat area located 45 km north of Afghan capital Kabul.
Even though schools and clinics have been built to serve the newly settled inhabitants there in Barikab, unemployment has made the life terrible for the former refugees.
"I returned from Pakistan some nine years ago but my only shelter in my homeland is this small hut," Ahmad Ali, another resident of the Barikab settlement, told Xinhua while pointing out to his mud house in the village.
"We are happy here but our concern is the lack of job and continuing security incidents," Ali, 32 years old, said.
The fall of Taliban regime under the U.S.-led military campaign in late 2001 had encouraged millions of Afghan refugees to return home.
More than 5.7 million Afghan refugees -- 4.6 million of them with UNHCR assistance -- have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on its website.
The UNHCR statistics show that some three million Afghan refugees are still living outside homeland due to more than three decades of conflicts and continuing insurgency in Afghanistan, with around 1.7 million in Pakistan and more than one million in Iran, waiting for a favorable environment to return home and reintegrate to their communities.
"It is my earnest desire to take my family back home from Pakistan if durable security situation returns to Afghanistan, job opportunities are created and living conditions are improved," 62 years old Kabul resident Samad Khan told Xinhua.
Working as the guard for a foreign agency here in Kabul and receives 400 U.S. dollars monthly, Samad said he sends his salary each month to his family in Pakistan.
"Lack of shelter, security concerns and skyrocketing prices of basic needs particularly the kitchen items have prevented me to repatriate my family to Kabul," the aged Samad maintained.
In Kabul, the price of properties is disproportionate compared to the income of ordinary Afghan citizens and even more expensive in comparison with Afghanistan's neighboring states.
For instance, the monthly rent of a two-room apartment in Kabul is around 300 U.S. dollars which is beyond the reach of common citizens.
To accelerate the Afghan refugees' repatriation process, a two- day conference concluded in Geneva on May 3 where the participants supported a three-year plan to help enhance voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees.
The two-day meeting, co-hosted by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Switzerland, was attended by ministers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
To implement the plan, "Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees" has been set to make five outcomes from 2012 to 2014, including voluntary repatriation enhanced, access to shelter for refugee returnees enhanced, livelihood opportunities diversified and enhanced and food security strengthened.
The participants in the conference underscored that a total of some 1.9 billion U.S. dollars are in need for the implementation of this strategy.
The majority of Afghan refugees are economic migrants, fleeing the country to escape poverty and establish a peaceful life.
More than 30,000 Afghans, according to media reports, had applied for political asylum worldwide, mostly to Europe and Australia in the first eleven months of last year.
"What can we do here in a country where we have no job, no regular income and no security and no future?" a resident of Baghlan province Shir Agha told Xinhua, saying he has already sent his brother to London and is preparing to send his son soon.
More than 5 million Afghan refugees have returned home, UN emergency relief coordinator and under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Valerie Amos told journalists at a press conference here on Tuesday.
She also stated that a "significant number of Internally Displaced People (IDP)" is also living in the country due to conflicts and security incident.
"We are thankful to the world community for its contribution to Afghanistan, especially for refugees repatriation but unfortunately the assistance is misused and the needy people are deprived from their rights," former refugee to Iran Raz Mohammad said, complaining "I returned eight years ago but have failed to build a shelter in the Khawja Alwan township allocated for returnees in northern Baghlan province".
Unemployment, security concerns hinder Afghan refugees' repatriation - Xinhua | English.news.cn