Kabul: The United Nations' refugee agency says the number of Afghans returning home has dropped sharply this year because of the country's security situation and lack of opportunities.

The UNHCR said on Saturday that 60,000 Afghans have returned so far this year under its voluntary repatriation effort, with 43,000 coming home from Pakistan and 17,000 from Iran.

The agency said the number returning from Pakistan, which is home to 1.7 million Afghan refugees, is down 59 percent this year compared to 2010.

It says the drop is linked to the refugees' concerns about returning to unstable regions of Afghanistan where few opportunities are available.