The challenges and our response
Pakistan is plagued by both ongoing instability and recurrent natural disasters that uproot families from their homes and destroy livelihoods. Military operations continue in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), while floods and earthquakes are common.
At the end of 2017, as many as 249,000 Pakistanis were estimated to be internally displaced. According to United Nations figures just under 1.4 million Afghan refugees were living in the country as of November 2018, though the repatriation process for Afghan refugees continues. The Government of Pakistan extended a deadline for Afghans to return to Afghanistan by the end of 2018. International Medical Corps has worked in Pakistan for more than 34 years, with our first program focusing on basic paramedical training to young Afghan refugees, who then returned home to treat neglected populations. This training was extended to Pakistanis living in volatile frontier areas in 1999 and we have since responded to major disasters throughout the country. Today, we are fighting gender-based violence (GBV) in six districts.
Gender-Based Violence: International Medical Corps has been addressing gender-based violence (GBV) in Pakistan since 2008 and was the first organisation to fight GBV with a comprehensive community-based strategy in refugee villages in Khyber Paktunkhwa (KP) Province. Today, we are assisting around 300,000 Afghan refugees in 14 villages across KP Province as part of a multi-year grant from the US State Department’s Bureau of Refugees, Population and Migration that is scheduled to run through June 2019. We are establishing and strengthening community-based mechanisms to prevent and respond to GBV, such as awareness-raising activities and training male and female community volunteers, traditional leaders, health care workers and others in GBV case management. Our psychosocial support officers also provide counselling services.