Refugee Management Support Programme
Title: Refugee Management Support Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Lead executing agency: Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON)
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
Afghan refugees constitute one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Pakistan hosts approximately 1.4 million of the 2.7 million registered Afghan refugees.
The Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) was developed and endorsed by the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan with the support of UNHCR in 2012. As a regional framework it aims to: create conditions conducive to facilitating voluntary repatriation; build Afghan refugee capital in host countries based on livelihood opportunities in Afghanistan to enable sustainable reintegration; preserve protection space in host countries, including enhanced support for host communities and capacity development of relevant governmental authorities managing refugees.
The SSAR has placed considerable demands on the implementing government institutions, particularly the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), the Chief Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CCAR), and its provincial subsidiaries.
The Ministry of SAFRON receives support in managing refugee-related matters, and the region bordering Afghanistan is stabilised through improved social cohesion between refugees and host communities.
Building on initial steps to improve the managerial capacity of senior ministry staff through participation in courses offered at national and international institutes, RMSP facilitated a comprehensive Training Needs Assessment for SAFRON/CCAR. Based on the results of this assessment, key international refugee actors in Pakistan can ensure that future interventions are targeted and coordinated as part of a comprehensive capacity development strategy.
To prepare the ground for exchange at the government level, RMSP brought together key stakeholders from international agencies who work in the fields of refugees and repatriation in partnership with SAFRON and the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations. This set the groundwork for further cross-border coordination in the areas of skills, education, and livelihoods for Afghan refugees and returnees to support sustainable voluntary return and reintegration.
RMSP has been implementing multiple interventions to promote social cohesion, livelihood opportunities and to improve social service delivery in refugee affected and hosting areas in Baluchistan. These projects have been steered with an innovative approach to engage and empower youth from refugee and host communities and specifically women to lead the process of problem identification, project design, and implementation.
- To address the issue of water scarcity in Baluchistan and its direct impact on livelihood opportunities, RMSP implemented Integrated Water Resource Management measures to rehabilitate indigenous irrigation systems, improve rain water collection and increase crop productivity.
- To improve social service delivery, RMSP rehabilitated a school for children with special needs in Quetta. This involved the establishment of speech therapy rooms, a skills development centre, and a playground, which can be used by children from both the Afghan refugee and host communities.
- To foster social cohesion and tolerance among young people from Afghan refugee and host communities, RMSP implemented music, arts, and sports activities in Baluchistan. These included creative expression workshops, music lessons, poetry competitions, and cricket. Youth also designed and implemented 25 Youth Action Projects to solve social service delivery issues.
- To enable educated Afghan refugee youth to gain marketable professional experience and skills upon voluntary return to Afghanistan, RMSP in coordination with UNHCR piloted the DAFI+ initiative to complement the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI). Through this, 125 DAFI scholarship graduates received on-the-job training placements in public, private, and non-profit sector organisations, and 200 educated Afghan youth participated in digital skills trainings.