Islamabad, 16 May 2023 (TDI): The German Ambassador to Pakistan, Alfred Grannas, emphasized the essence of peaceful coexistence and sustainable societies on the International Day of Living Together in Peace.
In a tweet, he highlighted Germany’s commitment to fostering inclusion and promoting equal opportunities for all, particularly for refugees and host communities in Pakistan.
In keeping with this commitment, Diplomat Grannas revealed a list of projects the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned in Pakistan titled “Strengthening Education and Health Services for Refugees and Host Communities (EHS)” in collaboration with the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Pakistan.
According to the project study, Pakistan has housed one of the world’s largest refugee populations for more than 40 years, with some 1.3 million officially registered Afghan refugees living there. Most of these refugees—56%—are concentrated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, where they coexist with local Pakistani populations in urban and semi-urban regions.
However, the existing public structures in the area have struggled to provide adequate access to quality services, particularly for women, children, youth, and people with disabilities.
The EHS project adopts a comprehensive approach to address these challenges and improve the well-being of both Afghan refugees and host communities. The project aspires to improve access to public services for vulnerable Afghan refugees and host communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly in education and health.
In the education sector, the project focuses on supporting participatory planning processes for inclusive district education sector plans, enhancing the skills of education officials and parent-teacher councils, and conducting awareness campaigns to reduce school dropout rates.
Similarly, the project aims to develop inclusive district health sector plans in the health sector, build the capacity of health officials and primary healthcare management committees, and raise awareness about mother-child health and hygiene education.
Additionally, the project recognizes the importance of collaboration between the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CAR) and subnational government structures.
Efforts will be made to strengthen cooperation between these entities, leading to increased support for refugees in urban and semi-urban areas. Inclusive governance will be promoted by establishing women’s networks and exchanging forums with vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, the project emphasizes the significance of public participation and intends to enable hybrid and digital approaches for improved engagement. Awareness campaigns and digital skills development initiatives will facilitate the active involvement of the target communities.
The EHS project in Pakistan represents a crucial step towards creating a more inclusive society, where access to education and healthcare is guaranteed for all, irrespective of their background.
The association between Pakistan and Germany illustrates a shared desire to promote regional security, peace, and prosperity. Both countries actively create an environment conducive to peaceful dialogue and lasting solutions by offering diplomatic assistance and resources.
Additionally, this cooperative endeavor prioritizes improving the lives of Afghan refugees, acknowledging the challenges they encounter and the requirement for better living conditions.
This combined effort shows the beneficial effects that can be achieved through international collaboration, underlining the value of coordinated efforts in addressing complicated regional concerns. Pakistan and Germany have pledged to help bring Afghanistan peace, stability, and prosperity.