Sindh govt, UNHCR to recount Afghan refugees in Karachi


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in a meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative Ruven Menikwela decided to enumerate Afghan refugees living in Sindh, particularly in Karachi.

It was an introductory meeting of UNHCR Representative with the Sindh chief minister here at CM House.

During the meeting, Afghan and other refugees living Karachi and rehabilitation of street children in the city were discussed. The UNHCR representative told the chief minister that they had a $200 million fund for rehabilitation of street children. The UNHCR representative agreed to work for the rehabilitation of street children in the city if they were given NOC to start the work.

The chief minister directed the Home secretary and Karachi commissioner to issue a NOC to the UNHCR for rehabilitation of street children in the city.

It is said that over 1.5 million homeless children are living on streets in the country, of them, 30,000 are in Karachi. The Sindh government has already imposed a ban on the beggary of children and is going to establish shelter homes for their rehabilitation.

The Sindh Chief Minister said that the provincial government had no idea about the number of Afghan and other nationals living here as refugees. He urged the UNHCR to enumerate them so that necessary measures in terms of water, food and other resources could be made accordingly.

According to a UNHCR report, Pakistan is home to at least 1.38 million registered Afghan refugees. Another million refugees live outside the formal refugee registration system. Over 50,000 Afghan refugees are settled in Karachi, but most of the circles do not accept these figures of Afghan refugees, particularly of Karachi.

The chief minister urged UNHCR to recount the Afghan refugees living in Karachi.