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UNCHR plans skills training for refugees

Updated February 23, 2017

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QUETTA: Minister for States and Frontier Regions retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch views equipment on Wednesday after inaugurating UNHCR’s Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas Skill Development Programme for Afghan refugees.—INP
QUETTA: Minister for States and Frontier Regions retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch views equipment on Wednesday after inaugurating UNHCR’s Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas Skill Development Programme for Afghan refugees.—INP

QUETTA: The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR’s Country Representative Indrika Ratwatte and Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch inaugurated a skill development programme on Wednesday.

Under the programme, over 200 Afghan and Pakistani youths will be trained during the next three months in Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Loralai and Killa Saifullah. Vocational training will be offered to young women and men as tailors, beauticians, plumbers, electricians, masons and fridge, mobile phone and solar panel repair technicians.

The programme is part of the UNHCR’s Refugee Affected and Hosting Area initiative. The project worth Rs30 million would impart training to over 700 people up to 25 years old in all the provinces.

Praising UNHCR’s efforts for empowering Afghan and Pakistani youths, Mr Baloch called upon the international community to extend more support to Pakistan for hosting the world’s largest protracted refugee population and to enable sustainable voluntary return of refugees to Afghanistan.

“The world cannot afford to fail the new generation of refugee youths who have great potential to become successful individuals and play a constructive role for building peace in the world,” he said.

The UNHCR official plans to hand over on Friday to acting provincial Education Secretary Shanul Haq, classroom and laboratory furniture for 45 primary and secondary schools in Quetta.

The delegation will also visit the Proof of Registration Card Modifi­cation Centre and meet Afghan refugee elders.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2017