Funded by GIZ RMSP
Location: 04 Union Councils of Quetta (Geo, Satellite Town, Loar Karaiz & Kechi Baig)
Summary: The year 2020 moved in history as the unfortunate year when the COVID-19 killed almost 2 million people across the globe. Faced with this pandemic, the most vulnerable segment of the society, the refugee communities suffered because of poor health and hygiene conditions. Pakistan’s economy, which was already growing at a slower rate than its many South Asian neighbours, further slowed down to 0.98% growth rate of GDP in July 2020. On the ground, it meant that local poor and refugee communities were not prepared to face the health crisis as well as the subsequent lockdowns.
In the four urban union councils of Quetta which host a large proportion of Afghan refugees, WESS is already implementing a comprehensive project promoting coexistence under its well-known Urban Cohesion Hub (UCH). To support the government and vulnerable communities in these areas, GIZ and WESS joined hands to run a mass awareness campaign in COVID-19 context to improve health and hygiene conditions and support the livelihood of host and Afghan refugee communities in the target areas of Quetta, who were affected by lockdown.
The six-month emergency project focused on educating masses through community sessions conducted under strict SOPs, dissemination of important health guidelines through billboards, banners and posters. In areas of health and hygiene, the project facilitated provision of hand sanitizers, soaps and surgical face masks. The project was also designed to facilitate livelihood opportunities for men and women through activities which further contributed to improved hygienic practices in the target communities. Some livelihood activities included cash for unskilled labourers who would dispose-off solid and liquid waste in densely populated areas. Other interventions under the project included training women and men in sewing high quality face masks and manufacturing soap bars respectively.