The challenges and our response
Pakistan is plagued by both ongoing instability and recurrent natural disasters that uproot families from their homes and destroy livelihoods. Military operations continue in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), while floods and earthquakes are common.
International Medical Corps has worked in Pakistan since 1985, with our first program focusing on basic paramedical training to young Afghan refugees, who then returned home to treat neglected populations. This training was extended to Pakistanis living in volatile frontier areas in 1999 and we have since responded to major disasters throughout the country. When a massive earthquake struck the region in 2005, claiming more than 70,000 lives, our medical response teams were on the scene, treating survivors, within 12 hours. Today, we are fighting gender-based violence (GBV) in six districts.
Women & Children's Health: Today, International Medical Corps works in several districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, providing the following services for Afghan refugees and vulnerable Pakistanis:
- Sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH)
- Mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS)
- Assistance to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV)
- Community education and awareness-raising
International Medical Corps has been addressing gender-based violence (GBV) in Pakistan since 2008 and was the first organization to fight GBV with a comprehensive community-based strategy in refugee villages in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province. Our SRH program serves more than 325,000 people and our GBV program services more than 100,000, and both are integrated with MHPSS services. In addition, our teams helped form 18 male and female community gender-support groups (GSGs) in nine Afghan refugee villages, which educate community members about how to identify and prevent GBV, and provided basic counselling and referral services to survivors.