As many as 10.6mn people received UNHCR assistance worth $200mn in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Around 10.6 million in Pakistan people have so far received assistance from Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme of United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through 4,100 projects worth $200 million.

According to an official, people got assistance in various sectors including education, health, livelihood, water, sanitation, infrastructure and social protection. He said that this project was launched in 2009 for the welfare and progress of Afghan refugees and hosting communities of the country in the remote areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

So far, Pakistan is hosting 1.4 million Afghan refugees. Around 4.3 million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan under the UNHCR-facilitated voluntary repatriation programme since 2002.

He said that recently with the assistance of health ministry of Balochistan, UNHCR has opened a state-of-the-art public health facility which was providing free treatment to Pakistanis and Afghan refugee patients suffering from kidney diseases.

UNHCR will cater for the needs of over 14,000 Pakistani citizens and Afghan refugees with renal diseases every year at Balochistan Institute of Nephro-Urology Quetta’s Balochistan Institute of Nephro-Urology.

The project has been implemented under the RAHA initiative, a platform for improving access to quality services for both Afghan refugees and their host communities.

Under the agreement, the provincial government provided dialysis machines and trained staff while UNHCR constructed a building to house the dialysis unit, installed an elevator and centralised the oxygen and air-conditioner systems, as well as provided 15-modern hospital beds.

The facility is unique in the province and currently treats sixty patients suffering from renal diseases every day. With the new dialysis unit, an average of forty-five additional patients who require haemodialysis will be treated free-of-cost each day. It currently costs around Rs6,000  per patient, per session. All chronic patients need dialysis between two and three-times-a-week.