ISLAMABAD (INP): WHO RAHA program handed over ambulances, medical and diagnostic equipment to the health departments of KP and FATA donated by the people of Japan in a ceremony organized at the WHO country office in Islamabad.
Under the framework of the One UN in Pakistan, RAHA is a joint program component within the UN “Delivering as One”. The aim of the programme is to provide the basic health facilities, education, shelter and hygiene living conditions to the Afghan refugees and the hosting communities. The larger aim is to help refugees to repatriate to Afghanistan and lead a better life in their own country. The project costed USD 1.8 million.
Dr Michel Thieren, WHO Representative in Pakistan extended his gratitude to the Government and people of Japan for supporting the RAHA interventions through which WHO has been able to achieve the desired outcomes. The medical equipment provided will enhance the capacity of basic health units, hospitals and rural health units and ambulances would strengthen the referral system of the area.
Dr Michel also commended the support provided by the sister UN agencies UNHCR, UNDP and extended deep appreciation to the Government of FATA and Government of KP and would recognize their support. He hoped for a safe and peaceful return and settlement of the Afghan refugees into their homeland and that the host communities, who have hosted for more than three decades, live in a more conducive environment having access to health and the communities will have increased access and better health service delivery after provision of the latest medical equipment.
Dr Shahzad Khan Bangash, Secretary Planning and Development FATA appreciated the efforts of WHO under their RAHA program. He thanked the Government of Japan for their immense support to the people of Pakistan. He also appreciated the efforts of the WHO-RAHA management who had smoothly implemented the project in Khyber Agency. He expressed his desire for continuation of such programs that do not only strengthen the health infrastructure and health delivery system of FATA health directorate but also afford huge benefits to the host community and local population. He urged that concerted efforts are needed since the local health infrastructure needs strengthening through such RAHA initiatives which would not only ensure access to health but also help catering the health needs of Afghan refugees.
Thanking the Government of Japan for their generous support, Mr Tariq Hayat Khan, Naoaki Kamoshida, Counsellor, Embassy of Japan expressed satisfaction over witnessing the support extended by the people of Japan for making a real difference on the ground to improve people’s lives in KP and FATA. Japan provided USD 12.8 million to fund the activities of 6 UN agencies to promote social cohesion and peace building for the areas adjacent to the Peshawar-Torkham Express Way.