QUETTA - The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) here on Thursday launched a skills development project aimed at improving the skills and income-generating capacity of local and Afghan refugee women in the area. 

UNHCR Pakistan signed its first-ever agreement with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), a private sector partner based in the United Arab Emirates, to conduct a project to support and empower marginalized Afghan refugee and local women through skill development and enhancement in Balochistan.

The project, being implemented by UNHCR’s partner Taraqee Foundation will benefit 100 Afghan refugee and Pakistani women. 

These women would not only be trained but also be given monthly stipends to support their families while they were working, said a press release.

The project will be implemented in two skill centres including at Ghoasabad and Hazara Town area of the city. Around 100 skilled and semi-skilled women will receive the advanced trainings in the carpet weaving trade, from which 70 per cent are Afghan refugees while 30 per cent were Pakistani women. 

UNHCR Representative, Noriko Yoshida visited the skill training centre at Ghoasabad in Quetta and formally inaugurated the project where the female artisans will be trained and guided to produce Emirati-inspired designs. Other partner staff were also present on the occasion. 

Yoshida interacted with refugee and Pakistani women and exchanged views on how this project will make a difference in their lives. The representative assured that UNHCR would continue to implement such projects that empower women.