More than 1.6 million of registered Afghan refugees are still residing in Pakistan, many of them for around three decades since the massive exodus from the neighbouring country. The Government of Pakistan, despite of not being a signatory member of the Geneva Convention and its additional protocols, has made considerable efforts to facilitate the humanitarian community in implementing activities that improve living conditions in both rural and urban areas where refugees are settled. However, the continuous in-security in the area and the regular natural disasters have created further needs which remain uncovered for both Afghan and Pakistani communities in the region.
DRC arrived in Pakistan in late 2010 and started implementation by the first quarter of 2011 upon formalization of the first agreements with the local authorities. DRC’s activities focus primarily on the geographical areas hosting the largest concentration of refugees from Afghanistan and are guided by DRC’s regional approach which connects its programmes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan – countries that constitute the regional displacement axis.
Through a broad humanitarian intervention the overall objective is to support durable solutions for the people affected i.a. by creating sustainable livelihoods and improving general living conditions. In one year of implementation DRC has assisted approximately of 250,000 individuals with activities that included legal assistance, legal documentation, awareness on voluntary repatriation, vocational trainings, NFI distribution, hygiene promotion, rehabilitation of schools, health centres and sanitation drainages among other.
In addition to providing aid to the refugees from Afghanistan, DRC’s activities also aim at promoting durable solutions for IDPs and affected host communities in the north-west regions of Pakistan.