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ISLAMABAD: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has stressed the need for investing in youth.

“Empowering Afghan and Pakistani youth through vocational training and livelihood projects is an important part of strengthening both nations,” said the high commissioner during his visit to the Construction Technology Training Institute (CTTI) in Islamabad on Friday.

The UN refugee agency through the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) enrolled 40 students in January for six-month vocational and technical training.

The training courses have been completed and graduates have been awarded certificates and tool kits.

The high commissioner also presented certificates to the students.

“Such projects will have a real impact and enable Pakistani and Afghan youth to play a positive role in the future of their countries,” Grandi said.

Centre director, Colonel Imran Ilahi briefed the delegation on the project.

The institute has provided diplomas to some 30,000 Pakistani students so far.

Ilahi said this was the first batch of Afghan refugees. “We will continue to provide future training opportunities to Afghan nationals in Pakistan,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018