UNICEF provides winter clothes to Afghan refugees children in Quetta
File Photo: Afghan refugee children in Quetta's Ferozabad area: Photo provided by the author

Syed Ali Shah :

“Our children are passing sleepless nights because of chilly weather”, Sharafuddin, a grey-bearded Afghan refugee says. Dozens of Afghan refugee families from Sari Pul and Shabarghan northern Afghanistan have recently come to Quetta.

Bare-footed children were roaming in the streets of Ferozabad adjacent to Sabzal road, one of Quetta’s poor and marginalized neighborhoods. All men members had huddled around the wood fire outside a mud-walled shop located in the vicinity.

“We need blankets and commodities”, Toor Jan, another skinny and thin refugee intervenes. Balochistan hosts 3,20,000 Afghan refugees for the last more than four decades. The number of refugee camps in Balochistan is 10.

In Chilly weather, two Afghan refugee children in Ferozabad Quetta: Photo Syed Ali Shah

So far, government and NGOs have not provided any support: Refguees

The refugees complained that so far none from government and non-governmental organizations have visited the area to address the grievances of refugees. Once United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) visited the area, Muhammad Ramazan, a young Afghan refugee said. Although, the refugee agency extends support to the registered and Afghan refugees having proof of registration cards.

“Our children are deprived of education this time”, Ramazan said. He demanded of the Pakistan government and UNHCR to extend support regarding the establishment of a school. Around a dozen minor boys and girls were staring at this scribe and cameraman during an interaction with community heads. In harsh, chilly weather, the children were not wearing proper coats and clothes to protect themselves from the cold.

“So many diseases because of chilly weather”

“So many diseases because of chilly weather”, Ramazan lamented. He stated that for the refugees the important issue was to arrange two time food and provide treatment to the ailing children.

Over the years, the Afghan refugees in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan have established businesses. However, the refugees who have come to the province in the aftermath of Afghan Taliban’s take over of the impoverished country are faced with a host of issues.

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About the Author

Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.