UNHCR goodwill envoy arrives from China
ISLAMABAD: The UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador in China Yao Chen arrived here on Tuesday on a four-day visit to meet Afghan refugees and garner support for the education of their children.
She is an acclaimed Chinese actress and one of the world’s top micro-bloggers with 71 million fans on social media. She was also named the 83rd most powerful woman by Forbes this year.
Yao Chen will meet the 2015 Nansen Refugee Award laureate Aqeela Asifi, a teacher who became an agent of change through her brave and tireless dedication to education for Afghan refugee girls in Kot Chandana village while herself overcoming the struggle of life in exile.
Ms Yao, during her interaction with various stakeholders, will underline the importance of investing in refugee education and youth empowerment as the best means to ensuring peaceful development in Afghanistan.
She called on Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch and Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr Imran Zeb Khan. She commended Pakistan for its exemplary hospitality towards refugees and said the country’s contribution to the global refugee cause deserved full recognition and support by the international community, “particularly at the time when we witness increased push backs of refugees, asylum fatigue and diminishing solidarity to refugee hosting communities”.
According to United Nations refugee agency, the goodwill ambassador’s visit comes at a time when influx of refugees and migrants to Europe has reached new levels, dominating headlines and prompting stormy political debate, but pushing the decades-old Afghan refugee issue into the background.
Pakistan continues to hosts the largest protracted refugee population for over three decades. Children and youth below the age of 30 constitute 80 per cent of the 1.5 million registered refugees in the country.