Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric P. Schwartz will visit Pakistan and Afghanistan this week. He is traveling from Geneva, Switzerland, where he just met with senior government officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan who were attending the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In Pakistan, Assistant Secretary Schwartz will meet Pakistan officials and representatives of international agencies, including UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other international and non-governmental officials engaged in the humanitarian flood relief effort. Assistant Secretary Schwartz will assess how humanitarian contributions have been utilized to meet the urgent needs of flood-affected survivors. Working with government and humanitarian partners on increasing coordination in complex emergency response and seeking enhanced support for protracted refugee and conflict-affected internally displaced populations in Pakistan will be among U.S. government priorities in Pakistan. Following his meeting with Pakistan officials in Geneva, Assistant Secretary Schwartz will also discuss plans for the local integration of Afghan refugees for whom repatriation or resettlement in a third country are not a durable solution.
In Afghanistan, Assistant Secretary Schwartz will meet with Afghanistan officials, international agencies and non-governmental organizations to discuss how the international community can better support the return of Afghan refugees, with a particular focus on improving land allocation schemes. These meetings will also emphasize the U.S. government's commitment to the protection of vulnerable migrants, with a special focus on the inclusion of women and girls in education, healthcare, leadership, and the economy.
For more information, contact Beth Schlachter at (202) 453-9367.