Supporting refugee management in Pakistan
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
Pakistan has hosted refugees from Afghanistan for more than four decades. Currently about 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees live in the country. The Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) is the comprehensive regional response framework which was developed by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan with UNHCR’s support in 2012. The Support Platform for the SSAR, launched at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, reaffirmed commitment to the objectives of the SSAR. These include creating conditions conducive to facilitating voluntary repatriation, building Afghan refugee capital in host countries to enable sustainable reintegration and providing enhanced support for host communities, thus preserving protection space.
The Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), in particular the Chief Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CCAR) and its provincial subsidiaries, is charged with the challenging task of implementing the SSAR.
The Ministry of SAFRON is successfully managing refugee-related matters at federal and provincial level, ensuring peaceful coexistence between Afghan refugees and host communities.
- Advisory services and capacity development for the CCAR at federal and provincial level: building on the findings of a capacity and training needs assessment, the Refugee Management Support Programme (RMSP) supports the CCAR in ensuring that capacity development measures are tailored and coordinated in a comprehensive strategy in line with the CCAR’s priorities.
- Cross-border coordination on voluntary repatriation and reintegration: bringing together the Ministry of SAFRON and the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations as well as key international agencies, RMSP is the secretariat of the Cross-Border Coordination Forum, exploring synergies in the areas of skills and livelihoods for Afghan refugees and returnees.
- Stabilisation projects in the refugee hosting areas in Baluchistan: applying innovative approaches, RMSP implements integrated water resource management (IWRM) measures and entrepreneurial skills trainings to support refugee and host community members, with a focus on marginalised women in semi-urban areas to promote stabilisation of livelihoods.
- Urban refugee programme for refugee and host communities: responding to the needs of refugee and host communities in selected urban areas, RMSP provides social services and opportunities for interaction in Urban Cohesion Hubs. Activities include cultural events, health consultations, literacy and skills classes, legal referrals, a safe space for street children, support to persons with disabilities, youth sports, and community initiative funds.
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RMSP expanded the services of the Urban Cohesion Hub in Quetta to include community outreach to raise awareness about the virus, psycho-social and health support, as well as skills trainings to support emergency livelihoods.
- To foster tolerance between Afghan refugees and host community youth, RMSP implemented creative expression workshops, music lessons, poetry competitions, and cricket matches. In this framework young people developed 33 youth action projects, which benefit their communities.
- To address the issue of water scarcity in Baluchistan, RMSP rehabilitated 50 traditional irrigation systems to improve rainwater collection. Through these measures 90 per cent of the beneficiary households have sufficient water for their domestic and agricultural needs.
- To improve social service delivery, RMSP is rehabilitating a school complex for children with special needs in Quetta, and has established speech therapy rooms, a skills development center, and a playground, which are used by children from both the refugee and host communities.
- To enable 225 DAFI scholarship graduates and educated Afghan refugee youth to gain marketable professional experience and digital skills, RMSP piloted, in coordination with UNHCR, the DAFI+ initiative, which can support sustainable reintegration upon a voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan.
Last update: June 2021