Islamabad:  The number of registered refugees in Pakistan is escalating as 50,000 children are born to refugee families every year, Dawn online reported Thursday.

The UN refugee agency said that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has issued birth certificates to over 330,000 Afghan children below the age of 18.

UNHCR spokesperson Dunya Islam Khan said that around 182,000 refugee children who had reached the age of five would get their separate Proof of Registration (PoR) cards by the end of this year.

The PoR cards issued to around 1.6 million refugees validating their stay in Pakistan had expired in December 2012 and the government after an agreement with Afghan authorities and the UN agency extended the stay of documented refugees till December 2015.

Pakistan has extended stay of documented Afghan refugees for the third time.

Officials said that around two million Afghans had been staying without legal documents and they did not want to return to their country due to certain reasons.

The UNHCR said in its current fact sheet that security and political transition in Afghanistan as well as the lack of  sufficient development investment that contributed to enhancing voluntary  repatriation or maintaining asylum space, had resulted in lower voluntary repatriation levels than anticipated.

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