KSRelief gives away 1,000 ‘winter bags’ to frost-ridden Azad Kashmir

The King Salman Relief Center distributes 1,000 winter bags in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khawa district of Pakistan. (Photo courtesy: KSRelief)
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Updated 26 January 2020

KSRelief gives away 1,000 ‘winter bags’ to frost-ridden Azad Kashmir

  • Saudi organization launched $1.5 million winter relief project for Pakistan this month
  • Winter kits include warm blankets and clothing for men and women

ISLAMABAD: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) on Friday distributed 1,000 winter packages directly benefiting 5,000 residents in Azad Kashmir’s Neelum Valley-- a region that has battled a bitter winter this year-- the Saudi Press Agency said on Saturday. 
Earlier this month, KSRelief launched a $1.5 million winter relief project to distribute 30,000 winter bags containing 180 tons of goods in 21 districts across Pakistan. The initiative is expected to benefit 150,000 people.
According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 105 people were killed and 96 injured in the wake of recent weather-related incidents in the country. The majority of casualties were reported from Azad Kashmir where heavy rains and snowfall triggered avalanches, especially in the Neelum Valley area.
“KSRelief is going to distribute 7,500 winter kits, including 15,000 blankets, shawls for men and women, socks, gloves and caps in Azad Kashmir. Most of these items will find their way to the most affected districts of Neelum Valley,” KSRelief told Arab News last week.
With one of the largest humanitarian aid budgets in the world, KSRelief has been working in 46 countries. Pakistan is the fifth-largest recipient of its assistance and has received more than $117.6 million in aid since 2005.


Lockdown at Afghan refugee camps could lead to crisis - Pakistani minister

Updated 48 min 24 sec ago

Lockdown at Afghan refugee camps could lead to crisis - Pakistani minister

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron), Shehryar Khan Afridi, warned on Sunday that a humanitarian crisis was developing in Afghan refugee camps due to the ongoing lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
“If Pakistan can roll out a special relief package for Afghan refugees, why can’t the developed nations come to the rescue of the besieged refugees,” he said in a statement, urging “the United Nations and the prosperous world” to step in.
To facilitate Afghans residing in various refugee camps across the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued orders for the creation of a special relief package, despite the financial difficulties faced by the country. 
Afridi, however, says more needs to be done.
“I call upon the United Nations Secretary-General and UN High commissioner on refugees to please send food rations to these Afghans in camps which are mostly daily wagers. Failure is no option,” he said, adding that though the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had formed a crisis management cell on his request, the measures were yet to become a reality. 
Meanwhile, the UNHCR said on April 1 that it had started dispatching core relief items to support Pakistan through the crisis following the donation of five ambulances to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the UNHCR has redoubled its efforts to assist the government in coping with increased numbers of patients requiring emergency transportation. The ambulances will be deployed to the districts of Haripur, Kohat, Mardan, Peshawar and Swabi,” excerpts from the UNHCR’s statement said.
Pakistan entered the fourth week of a partial lockdown on Monday to contain the spread of coronavirus which has killed 50 people thus far. 
At present, Pakistan is host to nearly 1.4 million registered and almost a million unregistered Afghan refugees.