IRC, CAR ink MoU to enable healthcare, essential services for Afghan refugees

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CAR) and International Rescue Committee (IRC) on Tuesday signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU) that outlined operations and activities where CAR and IRC intend to collaborate to facilitate Afghan refugees in access to health and essential services.
The vision of CAR aligns with the strategic approach of International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Pakistan. As IRC in Pakistan has been working proactively with Afghan refugees since 1980’s with a wide range of programming under emergency relief, health, education, cash assistance and essential services. The strategic partnership between IRC and CAR is testament of resolve to work collaboratively for Afghan refugees, a news release said.
Amongst multiple challenges faced by Afghan refugees one the foremost is limited access to healthcare, malnutrition, and high rates of infectious diseases. Maternal and child health is also a concern for Afghan refugees in Pakistan as many refugee women lack access to reproductive healthcare services, leading to higher rates of maternal and infant mortality. Mental health is another area of concern for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Overall, the health challenges facing Afghan refugees in Pakistan are complex and multifaceted. Addressing these challenges requires accurate information. It is envisioned that IRC and CAR will collaborate in the development of an annual health status report which will identify areas for assistance in health sector to cater for preventive, curative, and rehabilitative healthcare to Afghan Refugees.
Commissioner Afghan Refugee, Muhammad Abbas Khan speaking at the MoU signing ceremony appreciated IRC’s longstanding commitment towards the cause of Afghan refugees and reaffirmed the support of Commissionerate in working collaboratively for provision of quality services with dignity and diligence.
He further noted that Pakistan is very proudly hosting millions of Afghan Refugees and this hospitality was only possible due to the generosity of host communities. “The financial and technical support of international community is paramount along with fostering partnerships for this noble cause.”
Country Director, IRC-Pakistan, Shabnam Baloch opined that this collaboration between International Rescue Committee and Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees would pave way for pragmatic programming that was based on evidence-based research and triple nexus approach. She further reiterated IRC’s commitment to work alongside government counterparts for fostering a conducive environment for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
A representative of UNCHR, Raymond Tagle was also present at the MOU signing ceremony and congratulated both agencies on the envisioned partnership.
Pakistan has a long history of hosting Afghan refugees, dating back to 1979. Since then, millions of Afghans have sought refuge in Pakistan. Even today, Pakistan hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world. To streamline the process of coordination the “Commissionerate Afghan Refugees” (CAR) was established in 1979 with the mandate for refugee camp management and to facilitate access to health and education services, skills training for livelihood opportunities, and helping refugees in voluntary repatriation.