US pledges additional one million for Afghan refugees in Pak

The US has announced an additional USD one million for Afghan refugees living in poor conditions in Pakistan.

Washington: The US has announced an
additional USD one million for Afghan refugees living in poor
conditions in Pakistan, taking to USD 76 million the total
assistance for improving social services, infrastructure and
sustainable livelihoods for them.

The American assistance to the 1.6 million Afghan refugees
in Pakistan reflects its support "for policies of tolerance by
the government of Pakistan toward Afghan refugees, and for
cooperation between the Afghan refugee communities in Pakistan
and the Pakistani communities that neighbour them," the State
Department said.

On October 8, Assistant Secretary of State for
Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Eric P Schwartz
announced that the US government intends to contribute an
additional USD 1 million to the Refugee Affected and Hosting
Area (RAHA) Initiative through the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR). It is in addition to USD 75 million
announced earlier this year.

The RAHA Initiative is a five-year (2009-2013) joint
United Nations (UN) and government of Pakistan programme
designed to rehabilitate areas of Pakistan that have hosted or
been affected by Afghan refugee communities over the past 30
years.

"With a five-year, USD 140 million budget focussed on
community-implemented projects, the Initiative aims to reduce
poverty and promote peaceful coexistence by improving social
services, infrastructure, and sustainable livelihoods for both
Afghan refugee and local Pakistani communities until the
situation in Afghanistan is conducive for Afghans to return,"
the State Department said.

PTI