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PTI Prepares Relief Plan for Afghan Refugees and Displaced Persons

 


ISLAMABAD – The ruling Pakistani government Tehreek-e-Insaf has decided to give a relief package to Afghan refugees and displaced people whose livelihoods have been severely disrupted due to the partial foreclosure imposed across the country.

Minister of State for Border States and Regions (SAFRON) Shehryar Khan Afridi told The Nation on Tuesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued directives to the authorities concerned asking them to prepare a rescue plan for Afghan refugees and internally displaced people during the cabinet meeting. He stressed that these two segments of society were severely affected due to the partial foreclosure in the country and that a mechanism was being created to assist the two as part of the government’s Ehsaas poverty reduction program.

“I personally asked the Prime Minister that the government take care of the plight of the Afghan refugees and the internally displaced,” he said, adding that the government had accepted his proposal.

Earlier on Tuesday, in a conversation with a group of media representatives, Shehryar Afridi said that around 2.8 million Afghan refugees were living in 52 refugee camps across the country. “80% of which are daily bets.” Afridi stressed that it is the moral obligation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help Afghan refugees in this hour of need. “IDPs have left their homes for the safety of Pakistan, and the country will not leave them alone either during this testing period,” he said, speaking of families who have been forced to leave their homes for security reasons; most of them belonged to the old tribal areas of the country.

The Minister of State said that he planned to visit seven merged districts of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and the Afghan camps of Karachi, Hyderabad and Mianwali to deliver ration packages to daily bets, to displaced persons and refugees. He further mentioned that he urged philanthropists to contribute to this cause.

Earlier this weekend, Afridi had stepped up efforts to provide food and rations for Afghan refugees trapped in the partial closure.

In this regard, he wrote a letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urging the world organization to speed up relief efforts and provide food rations to refugee families.

An estimated 3.5 million Afghans live across Pakistan, of which only 1.8 million are registered with the government, an earlier statement from the SAFRON ministry said. The rest are illegal immigrants who have not yet registered with the authorities, the ministry added.



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