Korean Ambassador, Kwak Sung-kyu, and the UNHCR Representative in Pakistan Noriko Yoshida Islamabad
The Korean Ambassador, Kwak Sung-kyu, and the UNHCR Representative in Pakistan Noriko Yoshida holding the signed Letter of Understanding. Image Credit: Embassy of Republic of Korea in Islamabad

Islamabad: The government of South Korea has contributed one million dollars for a new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) project to empower Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

The Korean Ambassador, Kwak Sung-kyu, and the UNHCR Representative, Noriko Yoshida, signed the Letter of Understanding at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Islamabad.

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“This project will help many refugees stand on their own two feet,” Noriko Yoshida said.

The one-year project will benefit nearly 100,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan by providing livelihood assistance and community-based protection. The project will strengthen the capacity and resilience of refugees based on the Letter of Understanding signed between the Korean government and UNHCR.

“Korea is stepping up its efforts to support refugees in the spirit of burden and responsibility-sharing. We are hopeful that this aid will be instrumental in empowering young refugees and help make them self-reliant.” He praised the efforts of the people and the Government of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for four decades.

Welcoming Korea’s valued contribution, the UNHCR representative in Pakistan remarked that the support would strengthen UNHCR’s response and resolve to protect and assist all those in need.

The project is particularly aimed at empowering Afghan refugees, especially youth, to help them establish small businesses and provide them agricultural and vocational training. The programme would also enhance the capacity of refugee volunteers so that they are better equipped to help the refugee community in Pakistan.

In the last week of July, the South Korean government announced to provide $800,000 assistance to Pakistan in the form of cash and equipment through the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help the country fight the pandemic.