It is estimated that 1.4 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan, where many had fled to decades ago. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, a humanitarian response was activated in order to address the medical needs of the most vulnerable refugee communities in Pakistan, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, who are at greater risk of contracting contagious viruses and communicable diseases.
UNHCR supported the Government of Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with Better Shelter Relief Housing Units (RHUs) and sanitary relief items. The shelters are used to build health facilities in support of both refugees and host communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
Read more about UNHCR’s efforts in Pakistan here.
Trucks carrying UNHCR core relief items, dispatched in support of the Government of Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leave the UN Refugee Agency’s central warehouse in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. ; UNHCR's dispatches – including medical supplies, personal protective equipment and sanitation products including soap and disinfectant – will be distributed to health facilities in support of refugees and host communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. UNHCR has also provided 10 ambulances, 28 large housing units and Rubb hall facilities to local health departments and disaster management authorities. In early-2020, COVID-19 became a global pandemic. Refugees and displaced populations often have reduced access to health services and sanitation and may be at greater risk of contracting contagious viruses and communicable disease. Pakistan hosts 1.4 million Afghan refugees, many of whom fled Afghanistan decades ago.