ISLAMABAD: Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Shehryar Khan Afridi on Sunday warned the United Nations (UN) about a developing humanitarian crisis in Afghan refugees camps due to prolonged lockdown amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
The minister was speaking to the media here at Afghan Camp after installing a walk through sanitation gate at the camp.
He said that he had raised funds for helping out Afghan refugees stranded in camps due to the lockdown situation and that on his request, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan had already directed the formation of a special relief package for Afghan refugees despite financial difficulties faced by the country.
“If Pakistan can roll out a special relief package for Afghan refugees, why can’t the developed nations come to the rescue of the besieged refugees. Afghan refugees migrated due to Afghan war under launched under UN umbrella. Now it is the responsibility of the UN and the world to help these refugees,” he said.
Shehryar Afridi said that Pakistan was doing its bit to help out refugees despite the fact that Pakistan was not a signatory of UN convention on refugees and its protocols.
The minister said that he had written a letter to the Pakistan representative of United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, to immediately divert funds to provide food to besieged Afghans in refugee camps.
“I would call upon the UN secretary general and UN high commissioner on refugees to please send food rations to Afghans in camps, most of whom are daily wagers. Failure is no option,” he said, adding that although the UNHCR had formed a crisis management cell on his request there was a need to turn measures into practical support.
He said that food items need to be sent to Afghan refugees on war-footings as the refugees were out of food for two weeks.