The spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan declined during the month of July. The total number of cases as of 31 July was 279,146, and sadly 5,970 people have died from the highly infectious desease. According to the Government, 248,027 people have recovered and there remain 31,000 active cases. The number of daily confirmed cases has reduced to less than 1,500 from a peak of 5,000 in June. Seventeen Afghan refugees have so far tested positive; sadly five of them died. Apart from a few isolated cases, there have been no reports of COVID-19 in the Afghan refugee villages in Pakistan.
More than 31,000 vulnerable Afghan families have so far received UNHCR’s emergency cash assistance that mirrors the Government’s BISP / Ehsaas emergency cash programme, where vulnerable families receive Rs.12,000 (approximately $77) to cover a four-month period. Those eligible for the assistance include refugees with disabilities or serious medical conditions, as well as single parents and daily wage earners.
31,000 vulnerable refugee families have received emergency cash assistance.
Communication with Communities
UNHCR staff, partners, outreach volunteers and community elders continued to disseminate messages on COVID-19 related awareness, general protection issues and UNHCR’s cash assistance programme. Social media platforms were used to reach the community. In all small group meetings, COVID-19 prevention protocols were maintained to help prevent the spread of the disease.
16,300 refugee Outreach Volunteers, community committees and community leaders and 9,700 refugees helped UNHCR reach out to the refugee population.