PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – Norway grants fund for United Nations Human Rights programmes in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Islamabad, June 04, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce its un-earmarked contribution of:

1) NOK 12 million to UNHCR’s programmes in Afghanistan

2) NOK 8 million to programmes in Pakistan.

The grant is a response both to the 2012 Consolidated Appeal for Afghanistan (OCHA) and the Pakistan and Afghanistan sections of the UNHCR Global Appeal for 2012,

The Norwegian support is also a response to the continued critical humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, with 2.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and a substantial increase of internally displaced people (IDPs) to more than 500 000. Armed conflict and natural calamities result in growing numbers of civilian casualties and people fleeing from insecurity and economic hardship.

The UNHCR plans to assist some 165 000 Afghans with voluntary repatriation. There is thus a great need for shelter, support and information services for refugees, returnees and IDPs in Afghanistan. These tasks require significant funding, and we note the funding gaps in the protection cluster under the 2011 Humanitarian Action Plan.

Pakistan remains in a volatile situation. In addition to the 1.7 million Afghan refugees, there are about 800 000 IDPs as a result of the armed conflict in the northwest of the country and the monsoon floods in 2010 and 2011.

The role of the UNHCR in providing shelter, assistance and protection to both IDPs and refugees is crucial. Hence, as a key partner to the Pakistani government, the UNHCR aims to ensure that the rights of IDPs and refugees are respected.

Furthermore, we recognise UNHCR’s regional approach, most recently in facilitating the consultation process to develop a multi-year solutions strategy for Afghan refugees.

For more information, contact:
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad
House No. 25, Street No. 19, Sector F-6/2
P.O. Box 1336
Islamabad
Pakistan
Telephone: +92-51-2279720-4
Fax: +92-51-2279726 / +92-51-2279729
E-Mail: emb.islamabad@mfa.no

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