The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) formally handed over four projects worth approximately $700,000 to the government of Sindh to benefit some 6,000 people, mostly Pakistanis, as part of its efforts to bridge the gap between Pakistani and Afghan refugee communities across the country.
The handing over ceremony was organised at a government primary school in UC5 Gadap Town here on Friday, said a statement.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner West Asif Jamil Shaikh said that these projects have a real impact and the international community should continue to support such programmes.
Representative of the UNHCR in Pakistan Indrika Ratwatte said that the goal was to improve a range of facilities in local communities across the country with Afghan and Pakistani refugees both benefitting from the programme. “Supporting communities helps build trust amongst people, break down barriers and also bring tangible improvements to people’s daily lives,” said Ratwatte.
The statement said that under the Refugee Affected Hosting Area (RAHA) programme, two schools were renovated, one sewage pipeline installed, and a shelter home for vulnerable families in Karachi was upgraded in 2016.
The statement added that the UNHCR has completed 17 projects – eight in education, two in health, four in water, sanitation and hygiene; one in the social protection, and two in infrastructure, from 2012 to 2016. The approximate cost of these projects is USD $1.8 million.
Deputy Commissioner West Asif Jamil Shaikh, Representative of UNHCR in Pakistan Indrika Ratwatte, Commissioner for Afghan refugees in Sindh Agha Ghazanfar and other government officials attended the ceremony.