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Friday July 19, 2024

Korea boosts Afghan refugee support in Pakistan with $1m donation

By Jamila Achakzai
May 15, 2024
Afghan women who are living in Pakistan wait to get registered during a proof of registration drive at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Peshawar, Pakistan. — Reuters/File
Afghan women who are living in Pakistan wait to get registered during a proof of registration drive at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Peshawar, Pakistan. — Reuters/File

Islamabad:South Korea and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced a joint effort to improve the lives of Afghan refugees and their Pakistani hosts. A one-year project funded by a $1 million Korean contribution will provide crucial assistance in areas like livelihoods training, protection from violence, and essential documentation.

Over 125,000 people across Pakistan are expected to benefit from this initiative. The official signing ceremony took place at the National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) in Islamabad.

Korean Ambassador Park Ki Jun emphasized the importance of international collaboration in addressing the global refugee crisis. He praised Pakistan's efforts in hosting Afghan refugees for decades. UNHCR Representative, Ms. Philippa Candler, expressed gratitude for Korea's generosity. She highlighted the positive impact already underway, with over 1,000 Afghan and Pakistani students enrolled in NAVTTC programs this year. The project also strengthens measures against gender-based violence, protects children, provides legal aid, and assists with documentation. NAVTTC Chairperson, Gulmina Bilal, commended Korea's contribution and the partnership with UNHCR. She emphasised the importance of skills development training for young people, enhancing their social and economic opportunities. Mursal, an Afghan refugee who participated in a NAVTTC program and now works as a project coordinator, shared her story.