PESHAWAR -  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has formally decided to cut cash grant from $400 to $200, being given to each returning Afghan refugee under the voluntary repatriation programme. The repatriation process will resume from April 3, sources told The Nation on Thursday.

Following a slash in donor agencies financial aid, the UNHCR had no option but to reduce individual cash grant for Afghan refugees who are willing to go back to Afghanistan, they informed.

The amount is given to them across the border, they said, adding that all is set to resume repatriation of Afghan refugees from April 3.

Confirming the cut in grant from $400 to $200, the UNHCR Associate Public Information Officer Duniya Aslam Khan said that at least 11,000 Afghan refugees, who are willing to go back to Afghanistan, have so far registered themselves at the repatriation centre at Chamkani near Peshawar.

In 2016, around 370,000 registered Afghan refugees had repatriated to Afghanistan from Pakistan, she informed.

The government of Pakistan has extended the deadline for Afghan refugees to go back to Afghanistan by December 31.

Islamabad has been giving extensions since long.  According to the UNHCR, there are currently about 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. Moreover, there are more than one million unregistered Afghan refugees in the country.