PESHAWAR: UNHCR’s cash assistance programme has been initiated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the majority of refugees in Pakistan live, a press release said.The Head of Sub-Office in Peshawar,...
PESHAWAR: UNHCR’s cash assistance programme has been initiated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the majority of refugees (58 percent) in Pakistan live, a press release said.
The Head of Sub-Office in Peshawar, Bernard Inkoom, participated in an event in the province where the largest refugee villages in Pakistan are located. Earlier, the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, began the first disbursements of emergency cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan. This assistance is being carried out in close collaboration with the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) of the Government of Pakistan and with the Pakistan Post.
Pakistan hosts approximately 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, approximately 68 percent of whom live in urban and semi-urban areas alongside Pakistani host communities. At least half live hand-to-mouth; most of those who had employment before the outbreak of COVID-19 were daily wage earners. The refugees eligible for UNHCR’s emergency assistance programme include those with disabilities or serious medical conditions, single parents, as well as daily wage earners. UNHCR’s Representative in Pakistan, Noriko Yoshida, visited a local post office in Islamabad last week and along with key officials from the Pakistani Government helped distributed the cash assistance to refugees, which is being delivered by UNHCR through the Pakistan Post. The emergency cash assistance of 12,000 Pakistani rupees (approximately 77 US dollars) will help to ensure that refugees are able to meet their urgent needs during the pandemic. The programme will benefit an initial 36,000 families. Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, the Federal Minister for SAFRON and the Postmaster General, Laeeq Zaman, also attended the Islamabad event.
The emergency cash for refugees follows the Government of Pakistan’s Ehsaas emergency cash programme, where vulnerable families from the Pakistani host community received 12,000 Pakistani rupees to cover a four-month period.