The US government contributed over $2.5 million dollars as a support for Afghan refugees program, which is among one of many US-funded humanitarian programs in Pakistan, in 2012, according to a press release.
The money was provided to 17 skills training centres in different areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Participants were trained to become car mechanics, beauticians, information technology specialists, embroiderers, and tailors.
One refugee, named Saadia, signed up for a three-month tailoring course in a skills development training center in Mansehra after her husband and sole bread-earner died of a heart attack and she was left collecting garbage to scrape together a living.
“The training was very useful. I was so poor that I could never have afforded the costs, but the US government provided all of the training materials for free, money for meals, tool kits, and the certificate proving that I completed the program as a professional tailor,” Saadia said.
However, Saadia now works as a tailor in the refugee camp. “Women from the camp come to me for stitching and I earn enough money to take care of my children,” she added.
“It is important that Afghans develop skills that allow them to earn money for their families and educate their children,” said Simone Jackson, Refugee Coordinator at the US Embassy in Islamabad. “The US government offers a variety of training programs that help refugees become self-sufficient during their stay in Pakistan, and continue to support them when they return to Afghanistan.”
Since October 2009, the United States has distributed $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid in Pakistan to help Pakistani families suffering from floods, drought, earthquakes, and other crises.
The US has also funded an additional $220 million for programs that assist Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and upon their return to Afghanistan.