ISLAMABAD                   -               UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, is dispatching core relief items in support of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief items include medical supplies and sanitation products such as sanitary clothes, soap and disinfectants. They will be provided to health facilities in support of refugees and host communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, says a press release issued here on Friday.

Four trucks carrying some of the many items left from UNHCR central warehouse in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; destined for Balochistan. More items will be delivered next week. “UNHCR is committed to supporting the Government’s COVID-19 prevention and response measures,” said the UNHCR Deputy Representative in Pakistan, Iain Hall. He said that the Agency’s priority is to contribute to the overall effort to minimize the spread and impact of the virus. It will provide medical supplies and consumables including personal protective equipment (PPE), which will be delivered to support the people of Pakistan and the Afghan refugees that they have so generously hosted for forty years.

UNHCR is currently focusing interventions in three main areas: prevention and response; water and sanitation; and risk communication. The Commissionerate of Afghan Refugees (Ministry SAFRON) and UNHCR’s NGO partners are amplifying the government’s messages and reminders based on WHO guidance on COVID-19 infection prevention and control, including self-hygiene and social distancing.