United States Official Commends Pakistan’s Commitment to Support Afghan Refugees

Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, who oversees U.S. government humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees and host communities, visited Pakistan from April 27 to 29. Henshaw reviewed U.S.-funded projects and discussed cooperation with officials from the Pakistani government, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

Henshaw commended the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for their generosity to Afghan refugees and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to assisting refugees remaining in the country. Henshaw also praised Pakistani officials for their contributions to the regional “Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees,” implemented jointly by Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the international community to create conditions for voluntary refugee returns to Afghanistan.

“The United States deeply appreciates Pakistan’s role as a refuge for millions of Afghan refugees over the past four decades,” Henshaw said. “The United States remains committed to helping this country meet the needs of both Afghan refugees and host communities.”

During the visit, Henshaw visited schools for refugee and Pakistani children in Taxila and Rawalpindi which are supported by a U.S. grant of $8.9 million. The expansion of these schools has helped improve access to education for both Pakistani and Afghan children alike.

The United States is the leading donor of humanitarian assistance in response to the Afghan conflict. In fiscal year 2014, PRM provided more than $107 million to support Afghans displaced in Afghanistan and Afghan refugees across the region, including voluntary refugee returns to Afghanistan. This funding supports international organizations, including the UN Refugee Agency, which support programs to benefit Afghan refugees and host communities.