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June 10, 2021

Pakistan, UN jointly launch HRP for humanitarian needs

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Nations jointly launched the “2021 Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP)” on Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with Pakistan emphasising that this is intended to strengthen its capacity in the prevention, preparedness and response to disasters through the provision of relief services by building cross-institutional and stakeholder linkages.

The life-saving response activities called for in this plan amount to $332 million including food security and livelihood assistance, nutrition programmes, primary health services, including water and sanitation, women’s health, and education support, as well as shelter for displaced people.

“Our central message is, leave no one behind, resonates loud and clear. Our governments’ policies are guided by two important principles, inclusivity and sustainability and the HRP takes into consideration efficient and effective response to humanitarian situations, followed by inclusive recovery and sustainable rehabilitation”, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while speaking at the launch.

Giving details the Foreign Office said that the plan seeks to highlight the main humanitarian needs, share the efforts and steps taken by the government of Pakistan to handle these challenges in collaboration with the UN and other partners, and set out a well-coordinated and inclusive plan of action to respond to the needs of the people.

The HRP is holistic, with a multi-sectoral approach covering the themes of health, education, protection, food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and refugees.

The HRP focuses on supporting the needs of around 4.3 million people in Pakistan including refugees, facing a series of overlapping emergencies, including extreme weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic. Geographically, the HRP focuses on 81 prioritised districts. Pakistan says it is faced with the challenge of dealing with the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, whilst Pakistan remains one of the low carbon emitters, it is faced with climate induced risks and disasters, not of its making. “The HRP also highlights the generosity and compassion shown by Pakistan in hosting more than 3 million Afghan nationals including 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees holding a Proof of Registration card, 0.84 million Afghan Citizenship cardholders, and an estimated 400,000 – 600,000 undocumented Afghans, providing them protection, health, education and livelihoods”, said the Foreign Office.

The targeted humanitarian action put forth in this plan represents the commitment of the UN and humanitarian partners in Pakistan to support and complement national efforts. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said: “In the face of grave implications of the pandemic, Pakistan also continues to make sure no one is left behind and includes Afghan refugees in its COVID-19 response including the government vaccination programme.” The plan garners international support and commitment to assist Pakistan in responding to the humanitarian challenges, as part of the principle of responsibility and burden sharing.

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis said: ‘The people in Pakistan have to cope with the humanitarian consequences of extreme weather events and conflicts in Afghanistan. The causes of these humanitarian needs are in part global and regional, and so although the Pakistani state and society have significant capacity to respond to these needs, it is appropriate that the international community shares this burden. In launching the HRP, we are laying out the roadmap of how the UN and humanitarian partners aim to support and complement the response of the government of Pakistan.”