15 December, 2015
PESHAWAR: The German Ambassador to Pakistan, Ms. Ina Lepel, inaugurated the newly upgraded Radiology Department at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) in Peshawar on Tuesday. This upgraded facility will benefit around 100 patients daily.
The newly upgraded radiology department is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany through the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees in KP and UNHCR under the joint Government and the UN’s Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) Initiative. The total cost of the project is PKR 18.96 million whereas the total fund provided to KTH under RAHA Programme is PKR 58.11 million.
Germany is one of the major donors of RAHA initiative and through KfW Development Bank has contributed € 27.5 million investment in multiple sectors (health, education, community infrastructure and livelihood). Speaking at the inauguration, Ms. Ina Lepel commended the unprecedented work of KTH in providing specialized medical care and treatment to thousands of underprivileged patients including Afghan refugees for over three decades in the province.
UNHCR Head of Sub Office Peshawar, Mr. Jacques Franquin, Additional Commissioner, Mr. Waqar Maroof, and Director Hospital Dr. Nadeem Khawar, Director Medical Dr. Farman Ali and Head of Radiology Department, Khyber Teaching Hospital were also present at the occasion.
Currently, the KTH radiology department is lacking modern equipment to screen patients efficiently and effectively. This project aims to replace the current standard (analogue) x-ray machine with digital x-ray equipment for improved quality and accurate diagnosis. All administrative arrangements including installation, space and power sources will be the responsibility of the KTH.
“RAHA seeks to increase tolerance towards Afghan refugees in Pakistan; improve social cohesion to promote co-existence, and to provide both the host Pakistani communities and Afghan refugees with development and humanitarian assistance,” said Jacques Franquin UNHCR Head in Peshawar.
Additional Commissioner Afghan Refugees KP, Mr. Waqar Maroof while speaking on the occasion appreciated the assistance of the Government of Germany and UNHCR for extending support to facilitate the hospital management. He said that the RAHA Programme is being implemented in KP province through the Ministry of SAFRON to develop the infrastructure in the districts of KP which has been worn down as a result of the long stay of Afghan refugees in KP.
He highlighted the need for continued future partnership to help overcome basic health, education and livelihood concerns faced by Afghan refugees in the province.
The German Ambassador also appreciated the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for hosting nearly one million Afghan refugees in line with the Islamic values of hospitality and generosity. Ms. Lepel reiterated Germany’s commitment to burden sharing with Pakistan for hosting the world’s largest protracted refugee population for over thirty-five-years.
Since its commencement in 2009, some 3,500 RAHA projects, worth USD 175 million in infrastructure, water and sanitation, education, livelihood/skills training, health and social protection have been implemented across Pakistan and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). These projects have been implemented by UNHCR, UNDP, government line departments and other UN agencies and partner organizations, benefiting around 10.6 million people, of whom 11 percent are Afghan refugees whilst 89 percent are Pakistani host communities.
The RAHA initiative is a core component of the regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) endorsed by the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan and UNHCR in May 2012 to provide a predictable roadmap for solutions and better management of Afghan refugees in the region.