KARACHI, PAKISTAN – 27 January 2017 – As part of efforts to bridge gaps between Pakistani and Afghan refugee communities across the country, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) formally handed over four projects to the government in Sindh province, south-west Pakistan.
In 2016 in Karachi, under the refugee-affected hosting area (RAHA) programme, two schools were renovated, one sewage pipeline installed and a shelter home for vulnerable families was upgraded. These four projects benefit some 6,000 people, mostly Pakistanis and cost approximately USD700,000.
The event at a government boys and girls primary school in UC5 Karachi was attended by Deputy Commissioner Karachi, Asif Jamil Sheikh; Indrika Ratwatte, Representative of UNHCR in Pakistan; Commissioner for Afghan refugees in Sindh, Agha Ghazanfar and other government officials.
Speaking Friday, Asif Jamil said: “These projects have a real impact. The international community should continue to support such programmes. They promote empathy between Afghan refugees and the Pakistani communities that host them.”
Indrika Ratwatte said: “Our goal is to improve a range of facilities in local communities across the country. Afghan refugees and Pakistanis both benefit from this programme. Supporting communities helps to build trust amongst people, breaks down barriers and also brings tangible improvements to people’s daily lives.”
UNHCR has completed 17 projects – eight in education; two in health; four in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene; one in the social protection sector; and two in infrastructure from 2012 to 2016 in Sindh province. The approximate cost of these projects is USD $1.8 million.