7 Jan 2007

PR# 2007-022

Villagers Return to Sperwan Ghar

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Following the announcement on Wednesday by Kandahar Governor, Assadulah Khalid, that internally displaced persons could begin returning to the village of Sperwan Ghar in Panjwayi district on 6 Jan, the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), assisted returning villagers and provided support to the government committee coordinating the returnee registration process.

This is a Kandahar Provincial Government led activity that is being supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and its coordinating bodies, WFP*, UNHCR*, UNICEF* and UN HABITAT*.  Kandahar PRT and IOM*, as an implementing partner of USAID, are also providing assistance.  Food aid for returnees and additional money will be forthcoming for non-food family aid packs, containing items such as tents, blankets, tarpaulins, winter clothing, and cooking utensils.

A reception centre established at Sperwan Ghar school is being managed by the village elders and representatives from Kandahar’s Ministry of Refugees and Rural Development and monitored by the PRT.  Registration at the centre will entitle the returning families to food aid and non-food item packs that will be distributed in the coming days.

Returnees will also be eligible for a transportation allowance from the Government of Kandahar and have access to the contents of the rapid village reconstruction kits that include hand and agricultural tools, seed, timber, lighting kits and other items.

“The return of the residents of Sperwan Ghar to their village is a sign of the improved security situation and the progress that has been made in the reconstruction of the Panjwayi District,” said Kandahar PRT commander Lt.Col. Simon Hetherington. “This is an example of how we’re assisting the Government of Afghanistan to rebuild, one village at a time.”

The Governor of Kandahar and the PRT have been active in the Panjwayi and Zharey Districts, conducting activities such as meetings with local leaders, repairs to public buildings and cash-for-work projects designed to temporarily provide employment to those who have lost their livelihoods.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/