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Monday July 22, 2024

UNHCR discusses with CM steps to up Afghan refugee support

By Bureau report
June 25, 2024
KP Chief Minister Sardar Ali Amin Gandapur chairs a cabinet meeting on April 24, 2024. — Facebook/Ali Amin Khan Gandapur
KP Chief Minister Sardar Ali Amin Gandapur chairs a cabinet meeting on April 24, 2024. — Facebook/Ali Amin Khan Gandapur

PESHAWAR: A delegation led by Philippa Cadler, the representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pakistan, met with Chief Minister Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur on Monday and matters concerning Afghan refugees residing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, aiming to bolster the partnership and address their issues sustainably.

During the discussions, the chief minister highlighted the longstanding hospitality of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards Afghan refugees, noting that over 300,000 refugees had voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan during recent repatriation efforts.

He stated that the provincial government provided extensive support to facilitate the Afghans’ return without receiving any complaints, underscoring the humanitarian approach taken throughout the process.

Gandapur reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to repatriate undocumented immigrants while ensuring those with valid documentation face no issues.He expressed readiness to collaborate closely with UNHCR to enhance support mechanisms for refugees, including technical education and healthcare initiatives akin to the provincial health card programme.

Regarding infrastructure, the chief minister suggested utilising solar energy to address electricity challenges in refugee camps, offering provincial cooperation for such initiatives.He also highlighted the government’s efforts to resettle displaced persons from merged districts and sought donor support, including from UNHCR, for these resettlement endeavours.

The UNHCR delegation acknowledged Pakistan’s hospitality and the proactive role of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in refugee management.They praised the collaborative efforts in facilitating voluntary repatriation and expressed readiness to work closely with the provincial government to ensure sustainable solutions and improved facilities for refugees in the region.