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Japan to provide $2.7m for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Japan to provide $2.7m for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Oct 03, 2018 - 15:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The government of Japan on Wednesday pledged $2.7 million in aid to support Afghan refugees and host communities across Pakistaninfo-icon

This contribution will support UNHCR’s interventions in areas of healthinfo-icon, livelihoods, as well as the provision of legal support to around 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees.

The new funding will benefit some 475,000 refugees and youth in host communities in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab.

Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Takashi Kurai and UNHCR’s Country Representative Ruvendrini Menikdiwela signed the agreement, with Chief Commissioner for Refugees Saleem Khan in attendance.

Part of Japan’s contribution will be invested in the health sector to improve access to healthcare services in Pakistan. This will support some 430,000 Afghan refugees with health issues. The assistance also will provide the legal aid services for Afghan refugees.

UNHCR’s aid and legal advice programme is implemented through partners in nine centres in the main refugee-hosting areas across Pakistan.

The new funding will support some 45,000 Afghan refugees and help continue the provision of free legal advice and legal aid, as well as court representation for refugees who have been detained.

In addition, Japan’s aid will be spent on bolstering refugee’s self-reliance. UNHCR will provide livelihoods support to Pakistani youth and Afghan refugee youth through vocational and technical skills training.

Speaking at the occasion, Ruvendrini Menikdiwela commended the people and government of Japan for the contribution, hoping it would allow UNHCR to continue supporting vulnerable Afghan refugees and youth of the Pakistani host communities.

“Such support will have a positive impact on the lives of Afghan refugees allowing them to have access to better healthcare services, livelihood opportunities, as well as legal support,” Menikdiwela said.

Ambassador Kurai said: “I hope this grant aid will be fully utilised for the future of Afghan refugees and host communities, especially young generations and mitigate the burden of host communities.

“I am glad that not only Afghan refugees but also Pakistani youth in host communities will receive vocational training with Japan’s contribution so that they can contribute to the development of the two countries.”

Last year, Japan provided some US$ 3.8 million specifically to UNHCR Pakistan. Japan has been assisting Afghan refugees in Pakistan and their host communities for over ten years with grants of some $200 million.

Pakistan continues to host 1.39 million Afghan refugees. Around 4.3 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistaninfo-icon since 2002.


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