PESHAWAR - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will resume voluntary repatriation process for Afghan refugees today (Monday).

Under the voluntary repatriation programme, it is expected that around 16,000 registered Afghan refugees would go back to their home country, Afghanistan, in the months of April and May, officials said.

The first phase of voluntarily sending the refugees back to Afghanistan had been halted in last November, due to harsh cold weather, they explained.

Now, in the fresh phase, which will resume today (Monday), the willing refugees will leave for their country from the repatriation centre setup for the purpose at Chamkani near Peshawar, they said.

Meanwhile, the registration process of refugees who want to go back to Afghanistan will also continue, they informed.

They said that in 2016, around 370,000 registered Afghan refugees had been repatriated from Pakistan. Last year, the UNHCR was providing a cash grant of $400 to each returning refugee. However, this year, the amount has been cut to $200.

Pakistan has extended the stay of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan till December 31, 2017.