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EU provides €10m for Afghan refugees

26 Nov 2020 - 10:17
26 Nov 2020 - 10:17

 

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): : The European Union (EU) is providing €10 million (Rs1.9 billion) to boost UNHCR’s assistance for Afghan refugees and their host communities in Pakistan.

The funding will focus on mitigating the short and medium-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Afghan refugees.

UNHCR would use the funding to expand its health response as well as improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in refugee and host communities.

Another important component of the new project will be implementing activities that help protect and empower vulnerable Afghan refugees and host communities, including through livelihood opportunities.

The three-year project will be implemented across the country and is expected to benefit some 370,000 Afghan refugees and Pakistani host communities.

EU Delegation to Pakistan Ambassador Androulla Kaminara and UNHCR’s Representative Noriko Yoshida signed the agreement at a ceremony here.

Since July 2018, the EU has contributed €37 million from its development budget and €10 million from its humanitarian resources to support the Afghan refugees and their host communities, in particular through UNHCR’s regional programmes.

In May 2020, the EU announced a €150 million package to support Pakistan’s efforts in addressing the short-term and long-term public health and socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including this new funding of €10 million for UNHCR.

In the health sector, it will boost health initiatives by helping to provide personal protective equipment, medical supplies and other relief items to health facilities in support of refugees and host communities. Community outreach on the prevention and response to COVID-19 will also be strengthened.

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