Japan provides $6 mln to support UNHCR refugee’s in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Government of Japan has provided US $ 6 million in support of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)’s programmes in Pakistan.

The Japanese funds will support UNHCR’s commitment to provide primary school education to around 75,000 refugee children in different refugee villages.

The funding will also bolster UNHCR’s efforts in providing assistance to Afghan refugees in the areas of primary healthcare, provision of legal services, specialized services for children at risk, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, said a news release issued here on Friday.

These services will benefit refugees not only residing in refugee villages but those in different urban settlements across the country.

“The Government of Japan is strongly committed to assisting Afghan refugees in Pakistan who have only limited access to essential services and protection. Such assistance will also help to alleviate the burden of host communities in Pakistan,” said  Akira Kono, Charged Affairs of Japan to Pakistan.

A part of our funding will also be used for capacity building of the relevant institutions in Pakistan, he further said.

“Japan continues to be a strong supporter of global humanitarian efforts, and once again the Government and people of Japan have demonstrated their commitment to helping the most vulnerable,” said Neill Wright, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan.

Wright added that the funds donated to UNHCR’s operations in Pakistan will contribute to finding lasting solutions in the world’s longest-running refugee situation.

He noted that 3.8 million Afghan refugees have repatriated from Pakistan since 2002, but they must not forget about those who cannot yet return home.

“The Afghan refugees still in Pakistan also need continued support.”, he further said.

At present, Pakistan is home to 1.64 million Afghans, many of whom may not be able to return to Afghanistan in the near future owing to ongoing uncertainty about a future in their home country.

In December 2012, the Government of Pakistan agreed to extend the validity of the Proof of Registration Cards (PoR) until 30 June.