EU provides €10m support for refugees and Pakistanis impacted by COVID-19
The European Union (EU) is providing €10 million to significantly boost UNHCR's assistance for Afghan refugees and their host communities in Pakistan as funding will focus on mitigating the short and medium-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
With this funding, UNHCR will 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.
The Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Pakistan, H.E. Androulla Kaminara, and UNHCR's Representative in Pakistan Noriko Yoshida, signed the agreement at a ceremony.
The agreement coincides with the quadrennial Afghanistan Conference held in Geneva, which is intended to present an important opportunity for the Afghan Government and the international community to commit to common objectives for promoting sustainable development, prosperity and peace in Afghanistan.
At the signing ceremony, Ms Kaminara said: "As the world faces a second surge of COVID-19, it is clearer than ever that we must assist the most vulnerable and the most in need. We are glad to partner with UNHCR in assisting the Afghan refugee community, which is generously hosted in Pakistan, as well as the Pakistani host communities."
The UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Ms Noriko Yoshida and the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Pakistan, H.E. Ms Androulla Kaminara, signing an agreement in Islamabad. EU Delegation to Pakistan
Placing the support for refugees in a larger political context, the Ambassador underlined: "The European Union has reaffirmed its strong support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process which ultimately would ensure safety, fundamental rights and prosperity for all Afghans and allow refugees to return to their homeland in safety and dignity."