Since NATO and the U.S. withdrew their troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the Taliban seized power, more and more people had to leave the country. According to UNHCR, 2.2 million of them are registered in neighboring countries, but about 4 million have an unresolved status there. Pakistan has also seen a sharp increase in the number of refugees arriving. Experts assume that the actual number of refugees is far higher than the official figures of about 120,000 people. Approximately 35% of the newly arriving refugees settle in the province of Peshawar. Since 2001, many refugees have already arrived in this province. They are living in poor conditions in overcrowded shelters. Many people who are now new refugees hope to find refuge with their extended family or acquaintances already living in these shelters in order to start a new life.
Poor living conditions in the accomodations for refugees
The situation in the shelters for the refugees is anything but nice: many of the new arrivals report that they have no access to humanitarian aid and do not have enough to eat for themselves and their children. In addition, there is a large uncertainty about registration and official status in Pakistan. Many refugees have to hide and therefore do not have access to the labour market and official support from the state. In times of need, work under inhumane conditions is often accepted in order to keep the family afloat. There is also a lot of crime and violence, especially against women. Due to the rapid increase in refugees, there has also been a shortage of necessary products such as hygiene items, detergent, soap, etc. Due to the hardship as well as the poor supply situation, tensions between the refugees as well as between the refugees and the local communities are also increasing.
Distribution of aid packages
Together with SOLIDAR Suisse we are supporting a project of the local NGO „Sustainable Peace and Development Organization – SPADO“ for short. The project provides 1050 households with food packages and necessary items such as cooking utensils. The target group of the project are primarily refugees from Afghanistan who have been forced to leave the country. Our partner organization SPADO has been active in the humanitarian sector for 20 years and is very well connected with local stakeholders and authorities. Due to the high inflation, prices, especially for food, have risen sharply and many refugees could no longer afford them. The food packages issued are intended to help a family consisting of six members for 1.5-2 months. The lack of essential goods can thus be counteracted in the short term and in an uncomplicated way. Due to this, the project also contributes to a more positive atmosphere in the shelters, as tensions between people can be reduced.
|Project||Support with food and other supplies for Afghan refugees in refugee shelters in Peshawar|
|Place/Region||Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; municipalities Taj Abad and Nasir Bagh|
|Partner||SOLIDAR Suisse (Schweiz), Volkshilfe Solidarität (Österreich), SPADO (Pakistan)|
|Target group||1050 households (of which 850 are made of new refugees; 200 are former refugees)|
|Budget||185.328€ (of which 100.000 are from AWO International)|
|Sponsor||Solidar Suisse, Volkshilfe Österreich/ Nachbar in Not; AWO International/ Aktion Deutschland Hilft|