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2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Pakistan

| Overview |

Working environment

  • Pakistan currently hosts some 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest protracted refugee situation globally. Since March 2002, UNHCR has facilitated the return of 3.8 million registered Afghans from Pakistan in the world's largest voluntary repatriation operation.

  • Efforts to promote durable solutions for Afghans are being pursued through the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), launched at an international conference in Geneva in May 2012, complemented by the Government of Pakistan's national policy on Afghan refugees adopted in July 2013. UNHCR will continue to advocate for Pakistan to adopt national legislation on refugees.

  • At the end of July 2013, over 1 million internally displaced individuals (170,000 families) were estimated to be affected by the ongoing security operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). In 2013, there are still three camps for the internally displaced population supported by UNHCR, accommodating more than 80,000 individuals.

  • The security situation in Pakistan remains fragile. Instability in many of the locations in which UNHCR operates limits its movements and presence. In order to improve outreach, the Office maintains close working relationships with its local partners, enabling the provision of assistance to people of concern in areas where UNHCR does not have access.

  • Thanks to the generous support provided by the Government of Pakistan, some refugee villages in the provinces of Balochistan, KP and Punjab are established on government-owned land; refugee children have access to public schools; and refugees have access to public health clinics.

People of concern

The main groups of people of concern planned for in 2014 under the Pakistan operation are:

  • Afghan refugees who have fled Afghanistan due to violence and persecution at various times since 1979, of which close to 40 per cent are living in refugee villages and close to 60 per cent in urban and rural host communities throughout Pakistan; and asylum-seekers and individually recognized refugees from various countries, who are living mainly in urban areas, and once recognized by UNHCR under its mandate, are channelled through the resettlement procedures;

  • Three major groups thought to be at risk of statelessness in Pakistan, namely Bengalis and Biharis, as well as people from Myanmar; and

  • Internally displaced families who have relocated within and outside the tribal areas, due to the military operations in FATA.

Planning figures

UNHCR 2014 planning figures for Pakistan
TYPE OF POPULATION ORIGIN Dec 2013 Dec 2014 Dec 2015
Total in country of whom assisted
Total in country of whom assisted
Total in country of whom assisted
Total 2,544,460 2,364,460 2,176,130 1,996,130 1,899,300 1,719,300
Refugees Afghanistan 1,509,190 1,509,190 1,382,590 1,382,590 1,257,190 1,257,190
Somalia 500 500 500 500 500 500
Various 180 180 250 250 250 250
Asylum-seekers Various 3,400 3,400 1,600 1,600 170 170
Internally displaced Pakistan 701,190 521,190 551,190 371,190 371,190 191,190
Returnee arrivals during year (ex-IDPs) Pakistan 330,000 330,000 240,000 240,000 270,000 270,000

| Response |

Needs and strategies

The Office's priorities for 2014-2015 include: supporting the Government of Pakistan in the implementation of the SSAR and the new national policy on refugees; increasing the potential for durable solutions by preserving asylum space and supporting host communities.

Voluntary repatriation remains one of the key elements of the SSAR, with a planning figure of 150,000 individuals repatriating with UNHCR's assistance in 2014. However, voluntary repatriation depends on the sustainability of reintegration and on positive developments in relation to the transition period in Afghanistan, including the withdrawal of international security forces and the upcoming elections. As Pakistan is a pilot country for UNHCR's global education and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) strategies, the Office will develop dedicated and integrated programmes in both areas in 2014.

The Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme, a key element of the SSAR, will continue to be expanded to enhance support to host communities. About 300,000 Afghan refugees will benefit from this programme in the areas of education, health, livelihood, social and environmental protection and capacity building efforts.

Regarding asylum-seekers and individually recognized refugees, UNHCR will focus on improving registration, protection needs assessments and refugee status determination, together with increasing the resettlement options for those unable to repatriate or facing serious protection challenges.

The main needs of IDPs include the maintenance of the existing three camps and protection activities, such as registration, legal aid and civil documentation support, monitoring and interventions. The Office also has cluster lead coordination responsibilities.

Furthermore, UNHCR will advocate for Pakistan's accession to the Statelessness Conventions, and analyze the statelessness issues in Pakistan.

| Implementation |


UNHCR will continue to expand its strategic relations in Pakistan at the federal and provincial levels, with both Government and non-government stakeholders. The RAHA programme will continue to be the link to the UN Delivering as One framework (One-UN), which will further strengthen the partnerships with unilateral and multilateral donors.

Given the protracted nature of the Afghan refugee situation in Pakistan and the funding constraints, UNHCR will build synergies between the care and maintenance assistance provided to refugees, the RAHA initiative and the wider involvement of One-UN interventions. The Office will focus on burden-sharing strategies with UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, the Government and relevant non-governmental operational partners.

2014 UNHCR partners in Pakistan
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Afghan Refugees and Repatriation Cell (Karachi), Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department, Chief Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees in Islamabad, Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and FATA, Disaster Management Authority, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, National Database and Registration Authority, Provincial Disaster Management Authority
NGOs: Agence d'Aide à la Coopération technique et au Développement, Alfalah Development Foundation, Alisei - Italy, American Refugee Committee, Awaz Welfare Organisation, Azat Foundation, Balochistan Rural Development and Research Society, Basic Education and Employable Skill Training, Basic Education for Afghan Refugees, Centre for Excellence for Rural Development, Church World Service, Council for Community Development, Courage Development Foundation, Danish Refugee Council, Dost Welfare Foundation, Drugs and Narcotics Educational Services for Humanity, Foundation for Rural Development, Gender and Reproductive Health Organisation, Hujra Village Support Organisation, Innovative Development Organisation, International Catholic Migration Commission, International Rescue Committee, Legend Society, Muslim Aid, Naveed Khan Foundation, Organisation for Community Services and Development, Pakistan Community Development Programme, Sarhad Rural Support Programme, Save the Children, Society for Community Support to Primary Education, Society for Empowering Human Resources, Society for Humanitarian Assistance, Research, Empowerment and Development, Society for Humanitarian Rights and Prisoners, Struggle for Change, Tamer-e-Khalq Foundation, Taraqee Foundation, The Frontier Primary Healthcare, Union Aid for Afghan Refugees, Water Environment and Sanitation Society
Others: UNOPS
Operational partners
Government agencies: National Disaster Management Authority, Ministries of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Social Welfare
NGOs: Norwegian Refugee Council

| Financial information |

UNHCR's operation in Pakistan is complex and faces serious resource mobilization challenges in a context of frequent emergencies related to both conflicts and natural disasters.

In 2010, the financial requirements for Pakistan peaked due to the emergency assistance provided in response to the devastating floods. Following this, the budget declined and increased once more in 2013, mainly due to the additional requirements for relief-to-development activities under the RAHA project. In 2014, the financial requirements for Pakistan are set at USD 147.7 million, a decrease of USD 13.6 million when compared to the 2013 revised budget, mainly due to an expected reduction in the number of IDPs. Within the 2014 budget, USD 58.1 million is allocated for the refugee programme, USD 28.6 million for the protection and assistance of conflict-related IDPs and USD 60.8 million for development projects aimed at the peaceful coexistence of refugees and host communities.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105

UNHCR contact information

Branch Office
Street Address UNHCR, Bo Islamabad, Diplomatic Enclave G-4 Near Quid-E-Azam Universty,P.O.Box 1263
Mailing Address UNHCR, Bo Islamabad, Diplomatic Enclave G-4 Near Quid-E-Azam Universty,P.O.Box 1263
Telephone 92-51-2829502-6
Facsimile 92-51-2279455, 2279451,90-9201-2800
Time Zone GMT + 5:00
Working Hours
Monday:92-51-2279455(Out going),2279451 (in coming) Vsat
Tuesday:8:00am to 1600pm
Wednesday:8:00am to 1600pm
Thursday:8:00am to 1600pm
Friday:8:00am to 1230pm
Public Holidays 3/1/2011 new year
16/2/2011 eid-ul-milad ul Nabi
23/3/2011 .Defence Day
14/8/2011 Independance Day
31/8/2011,1/9/2011, 2/9/2011 Eid-ul Fitr
Eid-ul Azha 7, 8 Nov 2011
5.6 Dec 2011
25th Dec 2011 Quid-E-Azam Birth Day.

UNHCR Sub Office in Quetta
Style of Address The Head of UNHCR Sub Office in Quetta
Street Address House No.36-E, chaman Housing Scheme
Airport Road, Quetta PAKISTAN
Mailing Address P.O. Box No.30
Telephone +92 81 2829368-9
Facsimile +92 81 2829370
Time Zone GMT + 5:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM: 08:00 - PM: 16:30
Tuesday:AM: 08:00 - PM: 16:30
Wednesday:AM: 08:00 - PM: 16:30
Thursday:AM: 08:00 - PM: 16:30
Friday:AM: 08:00 - PM: 12:30
Public Holidays 03 January 2011 New Year Day
10 February 2011 Eid Milad-un-Nabi
23 March 2011 Pakistan Day
15 August 2011 Independence Day
*01 September 2011 Eid ul Fitr
*02 September 2011 Eid ul Fitr
*07 November 2011 Eid ul Azha
*08 November 2011 Eid ul Azha
*06 December 2011 Ashura
26 December 2011 Birthday of Qaid-e-Azam/Christmas



UNHCR contact information

Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Pakistan [1]
Refugees [2] 1,616,507
Asylum Seekers [3] 5,386
Returned Refugees [4] 4
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 747,498
Returned IDPs [6] 90,637
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 2,460,032
Originating from Pakistan [1]
Refugees [2] 48,867
Asylum Seekers [3] 46,517
Returned Refugees [4] 4
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 747,498
Returned IDPs [6] 90,637
Various [8] 1
Total Population of Concern 933,524
Government Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2000
2014 0
2013 0
2012 0
2011 0
2010 0
2009 0
2008 0
More info 6,028,856
Total contribution in USD: 6,028,856 (rank: 21)
Total contribution in currency: 363,400,000 (PKR)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): -
Donor ranking per GDP: 13
Donor ranking per capita: 35
2006 5,448
2005 0
2004 0
2003 0
2002 0
2001 0
2000 0
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2006
2014 0
2013 0
2012 16
2011 65,562
2010 0
2009 0
2008 0
2007 0
2006 0

Pakistan UNHCR Fundraising Reports Rss FeedUNHCR Fundraising Reports

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Pakistan UNHCR Partner Directory Rss FeedUNHCR Partner Directory

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Pakistan: Fleeing to Safety

More than 1.5 million people flee their homes in North-West Pakistan.

Fighting between the army and Taliban militants in and around the Swat Valley in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province has displaced more than 1.5 million people since the beginning of May. Some of the displaced are being sheltered in camps set up by the government and supplied by UNHCR. Others - the majority, in fact - are staying in public buildings, such as schools, or with friends and extended family members. Living conditions are harsh. With the onset of summer, rising temperatures are contributing to a range of ailments, especially for villagers from Swat accustomed to a cooler climate. Pakistan's displacement crisis has triggered an outpouring of generosity at home. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres is urging a "massive" assistance effort from abroad as well.

Pakistan: Fleeing to Safety

Photo Essay: Documenting the floods in Pakistan

Photojournalist Alixandra Fazzina, winner of UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award among other commendations, is on the ground in Pakistan.

Photo Essay: Documenting the floods in Pakistan

2010 Pakistan flood emergency

Torrential rains and flash floods have affected around a million people in parts of southwest and northwestern Pakistan. More than one thousand people lost their lives when water inundated their homes in the past week. Though monsoon rains are nothing new for Pakistanis, it rained more than expected, washing away homes, roads and other basic infrastructure, creating the worst flood disaster in the country's history. UNHCR launched a relief response to support the authorities to help people affected by the flood. The local relief authorities in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces have started distribution of UNHCR-provided tents and other relief items. More relief items are on the way.

2010 Pakistan flood emergency

Helping Flood Victims in Pakistan

UNHCR teams are distributing tents and other emergency aid to families displaced by severe flooding in Pakistan. More than five million people have been affected by this year's floods and government estimates put the number of families in urgent need of emergency shelter at over 200,000.

In southern Sindh province, which has been particularly hard hit, UNHCR has so far delivered 2,000 tents and 2,000 kits containing jerry cans, blankets and sleeping mats as well as 4,000 plastic sheets to be used for basic shelter. Many of the families displaced by the floods continue to live in makeshift shelters.

Helping Flood Victims in Pakistan

UNHCR providing shelter to Pakistan flood victims

The UN refugee agency is stepping up its efforts to distribute tents and other emergency supplies to families left homeless by severe flooding that hit parts of southern Pakistan in 2011. By early October, some 7,000 family tents had been provided to a national aid organization that is constructing small tent villages in southern Sindh province. A similar number of emergency household kits have also been supplied. Though the monsoon rains which caused the flooding have stopped, large areas remain under water and finding sufficient areas of dry land on which to pitch the tents remains a challenge. UNHCR has committed to providing 70,000 tents and relief kits to flood-stricken communities.

UNHCR providing shelter to Pakistan flood victims

Pakistan: Returning HomePlay video

Pakistan: Returning Home

Since the beginning of November, UNHCR has been offering an enhanced package to every registered refugee in Pakistan choosing to go home to Afghanistan.
Pakistan: Helping the HostsPlay video

Pakistan: Helping the Hosts

Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in Pakistan's Balochistan province have access to schools and basic services, but the cost is not easy to bear.
Pakistan: Pushed to SafetyPlay video

Pakistan: Pushed to Safety

Thousands are forced to flee the fighting in Pakistan's Khyber Agency on the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan: Flood Relief Play video

Pakistan: Flood Relief

Floods in Pakistan have ruined crops and destroyed homes. The rains have ended but displaced people will need help for weeks or months to come.
Pakistan: The Floods Return Play video

Pakistan: The Floods Return

Flooding has returned to Pakistan, forcing people to flee their homes for the second year in a row. A year after his wife died in floodwaters, Obhayo Babar is on the move again.
Pakistan:  One Year after the FloodsPlay video

Pakistan: One Year after the Floods

A year after the most devastating floods in Pakistan's history, life is still not back to normal for some people in the picturesque Swat Valley.
Pakistan: Boat PeoplePlay video

Pakistan: Boat People

Members of the small Jam community lived for decades on riverboats in Pakistan's Punjab province. When their lives were disrupted by floods, UNHCR stepped in to help the forgotten people.
Pakistan: Isolated and Displaced in Mohmand Play video

Pakistan: Isolated and Displaced in Mohmand

In Pakistan's rugged Mohmand Agency, more than 2,000 forcibly displaced families live in a camp built by UNHCR. Bahadur Khan and his family arrived here after their village was hit by mortars.
Pakistan: Coming back to LifePlay video

Pakistan: Coming back to Life

Six months ago, floodwaters hit Pakistan's Balochistan province and caused widespread devastation in eastern areas. Today, most people have returned to their home areas and are rebuilding.
Pakistan: The Flood AftermathPlay video

Pakistan: The Flood Aftermath

Three months after floods devastated Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of people in Sindh province are still struggling to cope. UNHCR is helping many of them.
Pakistan: One Farmer's PlightPlay video

Pakistan: One Farmer's Plight

Floodwaters have destroyed the crops of tens of thousands of Pakistani farmers. This is one man's story.
Pakistan: Rafts to the RescuePlay video

Pakistan: Rafts to the Rescue

Desperate times call for desperate measures. UNHCR and a local partner use rafts to carry aid across a swollen river to needy communities.
Angelina Jolie's Pakistan VisitPlay video

Angelina Jolie's Pakistan Visit

UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Pakistan in support of the millions affected by the flooding in Pakistan.
Pakistan floods French subtitlesPlay video

Pakistan floods French subtitles

French subtitles
Angelina Jolie's Pakistan AppealPlay video

Angelina Jolie's Pakistan Appeal

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador calls for more public support for the victims of Pakistan's devastating floods.
Pakistan's Water BabiesPlay video

Pakistan's Water Babies

Almost 900,000 flood-displaced Pakistanis have sought shelter in camps or spontaneous settlements in Sindh province. The birth of two babies swells their number.
Pakistan: Searching for a safer placePlay video

Pakistan: Searching for a safer place

The rising waters of Pakistan's Sindh River force 1 million people to search for safety.
Pakistan: Getting ShelterPlay video

Pakistan: Getting Shelter

Tents are set up to help with the influx of displaced people.
Pakistan: Picking up the piecesPlay video

Pakistan: Picking up the pieces

Families return to their homes to assess what's left after the flood.
Pakistan: Tide of DestructionPlay video

Pakistan: Tide of Destruction

In two refugee villages near Peshawar, floods destroy family homes and damage a UNHCR warehouse.
Pakistan: FloodsPlay video

Pakistan: Floods

Millions are displaced by the worst floods and landslides northwest Pakistan has seen in decades.
Pakistan's DevastationPlay video

Pakistan's Devastation

Survivors assess the destruction left behind by the floods in Pakistan.
Pakistan: The most vulnerablePlay video

Pakistan: The most vulnerable

A year after the massive population exodus in north-west Pakistan more than 1 million people have returned home. Yet many are still traumatized. A series of welfare centres offers some hope.
Displacement in Pakistan: One year later. Play video

Displacement in Pakistan: One year later.

One year after the exodus from the Swat Valley and surrounding areas in northern Pakistan, more than 1 million people have returned home. UNHCR is trying help them resume a normal life.
Pakistan: Preparing for WinterPlay video

Pakistan: Preparing for Winter

Winter is fast approaching in north-west Pakistan. UNHCR is handing out winterization kits to help the more than 100,000 people who live in displaced camps in the North West Frontier Province to cope with the sub-zero temperatures.
Pakistan: Reluctant to returnPlay video

Pakistan: Reluctant to return

Pakistan has announced that the more than 2 million people who had fled recent fighting between government and militants could now return home. Even though most say they want to go back- many still fear a relapse of the violence. UNHCR wants to make sure any return is voluntary.
Pakistan: First ReturnsPlay video

Pakistan: First Returns

An operation to help some of the more than 2 million conflict-displaced Pakistani civilians return home is under way, with hundreds of residents of Jalozai camp in North West Frontier Province the first to go back. UNHCR is monitoring the government operation to make sure the returns are voluntary.
UNHCR staff speak about emergency in PakistanPlay video

UNHCR staff speak about emergency in Pakistan

The current crisis in Pakistan has displaced more than 2 million people and pushed humanitarian workers to the limit. The UNHCR emergency coordinator discusses the challenges.
Pakistan: Swat Valley EmergencyPlay video

Pakistan: Swat Valley Emergency

UNHCR has launched an empergency operation to help some 2 million Pakistanis displaced in north-west Swat Valley
Angelina Jolie In PakistanPlay video

Angelina Jolie In Pakistan

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Afghan families at brick kilns