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Disability is not inability: Miraj Bibi’s determination to achieve her dreams

News story QUETTA, 11 December, 2017: Heading towards the ‘Safe from the Start’ centre with a hobbled walk, a 27-year-old Afghan refugee teacher is confident and indifferent to the bullies around. Miraj Bibi was born with a rounded back in Quetta, the north-western city which is the provincial capital of Balochistan, Pakistan. Her spine developed a twist that later affected her legs. Her family moved to Pak ...

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UNHCR transfers protection coordination to FATA Disaster Management Authority

The UN refugee agency has transferred protection coordination to the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) in Pakistan. UNHCR will continue to support FDMA by co-leading the protection cluster until early 2018. FDMA will now further strengthen coordination, information management and the provision of protection services, including the referral of displaced people and returnees requiring legal aid in FAT ...

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First ever refugee school in Punjab formally upgraded, affiliated with board

Press Release Nansen Refugee Award winner completed education project in Punjab KOT CHANDNA, MIANWALI, 26 October 2017 – Ms. Aqeela Asifi - the 2015 Nansen Refugee Award winner - has successfully completed her education project in Kot Chandna refugee village in Mianwali district in Punjab, benefiting over 200 female students. The government of Punjab has formally upgraded the Community Girls Model School No ...

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New representative for UNHCR in Pakistan arrives

Press Release ISLAMABAD - 20 October, 2017: The new representative for the UN refugee agency in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, has arrived to take up her responsibilities. She succeeded Mr. Indrika Ratwatte - who has become UNHCR’s Regional Bureau Director for Asia and Pacific based in Geneva. Prior to taking up her assignment in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini was UNHCR’s Representative in Thailand. Her ca ...

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From a child bride to a rights defender

News story QUETTA, 28 September, 2017: It is a fine evening. A group of Afghan women are enjoying traditional Afghan tea with Roghni (Afghan snacks) and white Afghan sweets. Everybody is happy as they gather to fix the date for an engagement ceremony. Amid the excitement, the mother of the 14-year-old, soon-to-be-bride, takes everyone by surprise when she raises her concerns about underage marriages. This w ...

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Breaking the status quo: A proud refugee father

News Story QUETTA, 31 August 2017: A father takes his daughter to a school where she is the only girl student amongst the boys as there is no school for girls in the village. He faces sarcastic remarks from many people in the community for being odd, but that does not shake his resolve. He strongly believes in a better and brighter future for girls and considers education as the basic right of every human b ...

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‘Rangoona’ festival showcases harmony between communities

News story ISLAMABAD (17 August, 2017): The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) organised a night of entertainment and culture show the cohesion and harmony between Pakistani and Afghan refugee communities. The cultural festival ‘Rangoona’ (unity in diversity) brought together people from different backgrounds including diplomats, government officials, artists, musicians, a poet and the media. The festival rocked the ...

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UNHCR’s health project to benefit 200,000 patients in Balochistan

Press Release QUETTA, 7 August, 2017: In an effort to improve the health services in public hospitals in Quetta, the UN Refugee Agency Monday handed over a health project worth Rs35.4million (USD350,000) to the provincial health department that will benefit 200,000 patients. The project was handed over at a ceremony which was attended by UNHCR and government officials. Under the project - implemented throug ...

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Afghans dream of stepping out of the shadows with Pakistan ID scheme

By: Samad Khan 21 July 2017 PESHAWAR, Pakistan – An Afghan in Pakistan without papers, Mohammad Rehman has lived all his life in fear of arrest by the police and deportation to his conflict-torn homeland. But a new Pakistan government programme to register up to one million undocumented Afghans like him, is finally allowing him to dream of stepping out of the shadows with a measure of security. “I am feelin ...

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