While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevailed throughout the year and posed serious humanitarian challenges, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency stayed and delivered by supporting Afghan refugees and their host communities as well as contributing to the Government’s COVID-19 prevention and response in Pakistan.
Thanks to the generous contribution of USD 1 million made by the Government of Japan earlier this year, UNHCR was able to strengthen its own response to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable families impacted by COVID-19.
With the support of the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CAR) and other partners, UNHCR – through the Japanese funding – carried out emergency health, water and sanitation, and cash-based interventions that benefitted an estimated 135,000 Afghan refugees and Pakistanis.
Health facilities were provided with personal protective equipment and medical supplies. Water and sanitation facilities were improved in refugee villages and refugee-hosting areas through the provision of sanitation products. UNHCR’s emergency cash program alleviated the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on Afghan refugees, most of whom are daily wage earners.
“The people and the Government of Japan’s generous and timely contribution helped us provide much-needed relief to the most vulnerable refugees and host communities during the pandemic,” said UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Noriko Yoshida.
The Government of Japan is one of UNHCR’s key donors and supporters in Pakistan and across the globe.