IOM Pakistan will focus on providing assistance to disaster-affected populations, and to vulnerable migrants within the country. In line with IOM Humanitarian Priorities, the Mission will strengthen and expand DTM activities and Flow Monitoring with the aim of providing more complete evidence of the needs, vulnerabilities, perceptions and drivers of mobility. Furthermore, IOM will respond to any emergency crisis if assistance is requested by the government, while at the same time continue to strengthen disaster preparedness activities to manage disasters.
IOM Pakistan’s programmes will benefit people in need of humanitarian assistance, including international migrants, internally displaced persons, those affected by natural hazards and impact of COVID-19 pandemic in areas where services are inadequate or overstretched.
In terms of supporting families who are seriously affected by humanitarian crisis or who otherwise cannot access adequate shelter, IOM has played a major role in humanitarian shelter operations for many decades. IOM’s unique position as an intergovernmental organization allows it to work at scale in both natural disaster and complex contexts. Over the course of the CRP, IOM seeks to implement programmes aimed at stabilizing communities after a disaster-related crises, as these types of initiatives not only help to alleviate the impact of hazards, but also addresses certain root causes of populations’ exposure to risks.
Planned interventions include:
- Improve the living conditions of vulnerable households through rehabilitation of damaged housing to support them to live in conditions of safety, privacy and dignity.
- Provide assistance to vulnerable families living in critical or substandard shelters in informal sites and areas of return, through setting up transitional shelters to provide temporary and safe accommodation to help families cope with their challenges after a disaster crisis.
- Support communities in the most vulnerable disaster-prone areas to rebuild more durable shelters, with a strong focus on transferring knowledge and skills through trainings to promote self-recovery and post-disaster coping strategies so that they are ready for future events. IOM is featuring this approach as floods occur regularly in Pakistan and are likely to increase in frequency and ferocity. Families need shelters which are more resistant to damage and flooding, and also need to learn how to repair and rebuild them themselves in event of a future flood.
In line with Afghan Peace Processes, the Government of Pakistan is currently looking at plans to repatriate Afghan nationals from Pakistan. Apart from 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, the Government projects 840,000 Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) holders and 400,000 Undocumented Afghans, all of whom are in need of humanitarian assistance as well as support for return. In view of the existing needs, IOM aims to facilitate voluntary repatriation of ACC holders and Undocumented Afghans from Pakistan, and assist with their return and reintegration in Afghanistan.
Key interventions of the project will include:
- Providing support for voluntary return and repatriation through cross-border programming including pre-departure humanitarian assistance, cash assistance for returnees (including cash for transportation to the border and to cover custom clearances introduced by the Government of Pakistan or to cover immediate needs upon return to Afghanistan.
- As part of the pre-departure assistance, IOM will provide case management and protection assistance in coordination with protection actors. Support may include providing children returnees in the host country with family tracing and reunification prior to return and referrals to specialized services, if required.
- Undertake community engagement and sensitization programmes in areas of high Afghan concentration.
- Ensure that protection is mainstreamed in all of IOM's interventions through training of staff on protection principles, adapting interventions' design to better include the needs of vulnerable groups.
IOM Pakistan receives a number of requests from various IOM missions and governments worldwide to support migrants in vulnerable situations including those stranded by COVID-19, trafficking, smuggling etc. that require assistance to return home, including reintegration assistance. Although IOM Pakistan assists voluntary migrant returns from other IOM missions to country of origin (i.e. Pakistan), the mission does not have a Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) Assistance programme, which could provide critical humanitarian assistance and voluntary return support to vulnerable migrants. Therefore, to cater to such assistance requests and help migrants voluntary return to their country of origin, IOM proposes to setup a VHR assistance programme to provide:
- Return/travel assistance i.e. arrange for airline tickets in coordination with the requesting IOM mission.
- Post-arrival assistance including health checks, escort assistance based on an individuals’ health condition and needs (wheelchair etc.), and provision of Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS) assistance to help safeguard the safety and wellbeing of migrants, particularly those with vulnerabilities (such as women, unaccompanied and migrant children), the elderly and persons with medical and special needs.
- Reintegration services: The reintegration component under the VHR programme will provide support to address the socioeconomic needs of those who voluntarily return to Pakistan. Based on needs identified, counselling will be available to facilitate access to education, medical, housing and/or income-generating support at home.
Through IOM’s expertise in providing healthcare services, case management, surveillance, training, risk communication and coordination, IOM Pakistan is expanding programming to support the Government of Pakistan in its effort to manage the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Planned interventions include:
- Improve access to health-care services to vulnerable migrants and host community members through setting up mobile medical clinics.
- Strengthen health facilities in crisis-affected governorates and areas close to border crossings by increasing their capacity to respond to existing and emergent healthcare needs.
- Carry out Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) activities in coordination with health, protection and GBV actors, for at-risk and affected people. Information disseminated will include messaging on COVID-19, other communicable and non-communicable diseases, GBV risks, PSEA and information about services, whether, remote or not, especially of updated referral pathways.
- Provide COVID-19 testing and associated healthcare services including vaccinations to vulnerable migrants and host community members.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
Displaced and returnee populations.
In Pakistan, nearly 95% of the total displaced population affected by complex emergencies in KP/FATA have returned to their areas of origin. However, due to experiencing prolonged displacement, there are still a significant number of families that require concentrated efforts to support durable solutions in areas of return. With a view of promoting self-reliance and improving sustainability, including components such as livelihoods support, IOM aims to increase vulnerable individuals’ capacity to re-build skills taking into consideration gendered dynamics for labor.
Based on the needs of the target population, IOM Pakistan aims to implement the following:
- Organize skills development trainings designed to improve employment opportunities and living conditions, to enable them to become valuable and self-sufficient citizens of Pakistan.
- Indicative training courses may include tailoring, embroidery, mobile-repair, electric works and plumbing however, IOM will undertake surveys to identify course interest prior to the proposed trainings. This component will also support the provision of start-up kits for target beneficiaries identified based on selected livelihood activities under which they will receive skills and knowledge. To note that out of the total target beneficiaries, IOM will ensure that at least 15% women have equitable access to livelihood trainings.
- IOM, in coordination with vocational training institutions will reach out to public or private job placement services to identify gaps requiring specialized knowledge and propose trained participants for jobs in order to leverage their skills-base and contribute towards sustainable livelihoods and employment opportunities.
- Undertake assessments to determine pathways to durable solutions for vulnerable populations.
Government counterparts, humanitarian actors and communities in disaster-prone areas. .
IOM is strongly committed to the disaster risk reduction (DRR) agenda and to the implementation of activities contributing to reducing and preventing risks. Under this area, IOM will support the government, including national and local authorities and community members to reduce the risk of natural disasters through the following interventions:
Government counterparts and crisis response actors.
To support the Government of Pakistan and operational partners, IOM Pakistan aims to utilize several Displacement Tracking Matrix components to seek and provide information on the mobility, locations, vulnerabilities and needs of displaced and mobile populations throughout the course of a crisis. Contingent on funding, IOM plans to carry out the following activities:
- Activate “emergency tracking” to provide timely data, with basic demographics of people displaced and their immediate needs due to disaster occurrence.
- Track locations of IDPs and returnees, assess their intentions and barriers to return, and based on the severity of conditions in areas of return, among other, provide necessary information for recovery and crisis prevention programming.
- Conduct surveys to improve understanding of internal and cross-border displacement and migration dynamics, drivers, modalities and vulnerabilities, as well as examine factors which determine a person’s decision to migrate in crisis settings.
- Continue flow monitoring activities to provide key insights into analysis of migration trends by monitoring outgoing flows at pre-defined locations of high migrant activity, which includes Torkham and Chaman border crossing points.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.