Schools and Health Unit Refurbished in Southern Pakistan
20 March 2017
Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees completed the refurbishment of three schools and a basic health unit in Dera Ismail Khan in the south of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday.
The four projects were delivered under the refugee affected and hosting areas (RAHA) programme and were officially handed over to the provincial education and health departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government at a ceremony at Government Primary School, New Abadi, Kotla Seydan, DI Khan, in the southern-most part of the province.
The schools are two government primary schools in Kotli Syedan and in Hanifabad, a government girl’s high school in Ratta Kulachi and the basic healthcare unit is in Zafar Abad. Some 800 Pakistani and Afghan refugee children attend the three schools.
The Commissioner for Afghan Refugees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zia Ur Rehman said: “With the implementation of these projects, not only Afghan refugee children, but also Pakistani children now have better access to education. With the improved healthcare facilities now available locally, patients and their families no longer have to travel long hours for treatment in Peshawar.”
Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR’s Representative in Pakistan said: “UNHCR appreciates the provincial government’s solid commitment and efforts to ensure that Afghan refugee children have access to education. The children that have the opportunity to go school and learn today are taking a big step towards the chance of brighter futures. The supports to these schools also supports Pakistan’s efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive, quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”
The school projects included the construction of additional classrooms; computer and science laboratories; the rehabilitation of existing classrooms; new school furniture and the installation of toilet facilities and clean drinking water for all pupils.
The healthcare unit in Zafar Abad includes a fully equipped labour and recovery room. The existing service area and the doctors’ residence was also fully refurbished.
The United States of America provided financial support of USD 397,223 (USD 311,299 in education and USD 85,924 in health) for the implementation of these four projects in Dera Ismail Khan.