ISLAMABAD: In Pakistan, three UN agencies have joined forces to improve the safety of the host communities and refugees who have been impacted by catastrophic flooding, especially the women and children living there.
At a time when large portions of Pakistan are still under water, the UNHCR, the UN agency for refugees, signed two agreements with UNFPA and UNICEF.
According to a UN announcement made on Monday, the agreement, which is anticipated to last through 2023, aims to make it easier for resources to be transferred from one UN agency to another so they can reach the most afflicted populations.
Numerous individuals have been relocated, and those who have returned to their cities and homes have found that the vital infrastructure for water, sanitation, and health has been harmed or destroyed entirely.
Agreement for a “One-UN” system is signed by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), and UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).
Since some impacted towns in Sindh can only be visited by boat, their continuous isolation only exacerbates their problems and forces families to make unthinkable decisions.
Findings from evaluations show that in Sindh, the most impacted province, more than 50% of key informants said their community members did not know about services for gender-based violence, more than 60% did not have access to treatment, and 85% said they had psycho-social distress.
As part of the UN’s efforts, she added, “Our relationship with UNFPA and Unicef will boost the collective response.”
The partnership with UNICEF includes distributing 250k dignity kits for female reproductive age, child protection efforts, and mental health campaigns, strengthening local child protection units with staff and psychologists and identifying available services in affected communities specifically for violence survivors to refer them to appropriate resources.
UNFPA has plans to distribute 20,000 dignity kits, improve GBV (Gender based Violence) case referral systems, establish safe spaces for women and girls during emergencies, raise awareness of GBV through community mobilization.
The top priority for UNFPA is to make sure women and girls have access to life-saving reproductive health and protection services even during an emergency.
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