ISLAMABAD— The Government of Pakistan, Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with Pakistan Post, have begun the first disbursements of emergency cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To mark the occasion, the Federal Minister for SAFRON, Mr. Sahabzada Mehboob Sultan, the Secretary for SAFRON, Mr. Muhammad Aslam Kamboh, the Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees, Mr. Saleem Khan, UNHCR Representative, Ms. Noriko Yoshida, and Postmaster General, Mr. Laeeq Zaman, visited Golra Post Office and helped distribute cash assistance to refugees.
“This is a significant event and important milestone for the emergency cash programme that will continue over the coming months,” said Ms. Yoshida. “Together with the Government of Pakistan, we must make sure that we ‘leave no one behind’ during these difficult times.”
“We are pleased to witness the very first disbursements of the cash assistance provided to our brothers and sisters from Afghanistan,” noted Mr. Sultan. “I believe this support will be a lifeline for so many vulnerable refugee families.” He added that after working tirelessly for months with UNHCR, efforts were now translating into concrete action, with the cash distribution taking place.
Last week, UNHCR and the Pakistan Post signed an innovative agreement for the disbursement of the emergency cash assistance. The emergency cash follows the Federal Government’s Ehsaas emergency cash programme, where vulnerable families receive Rs.12,000 to cover a four-month period.
Some 36,000 families will be the initial beneficiaries for this emergency cash assistance from UNHCR through the Pakistan Post. It will help the most vulnerable refugee families to meet their urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Postmaster General, Mr. Zaman, said that “Pakistan Post will be there every step of the way in solidarity with Afghan refugees, as this emergency cash assistance programme is rolled out across the country.”