Pakistan will soon provide new smart cards for Afghan refugees who possess Proof of Registration (PoR) cards.
The initiative takes place within the framework of the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees, fostering renewed partnerships and stronger strategic linkages between humanitarian and development investments.
Pakistan currently hosts 1.4 million Afghan refugees who hold PoR cards. In addition to validating the existing data, the verification will record Afghan refugees’ skill sets, levels of education, socio-economic circumstances, and sources of income, to facilitate the provision of better-targeted health, education, and livelihoods for them in Pakistan and in the Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration in Afghanistan.
Supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) will delegate the project for the next six months.
The project called the ‘Document Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE)’, is scheduled for 1 April 2021, for which 40 DRIVE centers are currently being set up across Pakistan.
During this six-month exercise, the NADRA will verify and update the data of the registered Afghan refugees who possess PoR cards that had expired on 31 December 2015. Upon verification, they will receive new PoR smartcards that will provide them with renewed proof of identity and enhanced protection in Pakistan.
The Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, Saleem Khan, congratulated the government for the achievement. While apprising the nation about his views, he stated,
This is a long-overdue exercise. It’s been 10 years since the last such initiative. It’s crucial at this juncture to update the data of Afghan refugees. I commend the international community for supporting this important exercise.
On a similar note, the UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Noriko Yoshida, praised the government for this initiative to help improve the lives of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Community structures for Afghan refugees + host communities in Pakistan🏘️
This is what a new three-year project, funded by the people of 🇯🇵 will focus on.
— UNHCR Asia Pacific (@UNHCRAsia) February 28, 2021
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the NADRA revealed that the multi-biometric PoR cards will be issued strictly as part of the DRIVE, and specialized staff and high-end infrastructure will be utilized accordingly.