United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Pakistan in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan has launched a one-time cash assistance program for 1.3 million Afghan refugees residing in the country. This program aims to assist Afghan refugees . Under the program, registered Afghan Refugee families who have been affected by the floods in the summer 2022 and the current inflation will receive up to 25,000 Pakistani rupees depending on their family size.
This article, explains the eligibility criteria, cash amount, the process for cash collection, and inquiry or complaint channels for UNHCR Cash Assistance Program for Afghan Refugees.
Afghan Refugees who fulfill the following criteria are eligible for a one-time cash assistance:
- Afghan refugees in Pakistan who hold PoR cards valid till June 2023.
- Afghan refugees who have PoR cards expired on December 31st, 2015. They must visit PoR Card Modification (PCM) Center near them and renew their documentation, receive new smart cards and get their unregistered family members registered.
- Asylum-seekers and refugees registered with UNHCR on or before December 31, 2020 and have valid documentation.
- Afghan refugees with expired refugee card or asylum-seeker certificate should visit UNHCR office, where their case was registered, for renewal of their documentation.
The amount of the cash stipend depends on the number of family members of Afghan Refugees registered with UNHCR and NADRA. The limit given by UNHCR is mentioned in the table below.
|Number of Family Member(s)
|Amount in PKR
|Family of 1
|Family of 2
|Family of 3
|Family of 4
|Family of 5
|Family of 6 or above
Timeframe for Cash Disbursement
The cash disbursement will happen over several weeks starting from February 2023. Eligible PoR Cardholders will receive an SMS from 8245 with their PoR card number and the cash amount. While refugees with Refugee Card or UNHCR-issued Asylum-Seeker Certificate will be contacted by UNHCR or its partners regarding date and location of cash disbursement.
Procedure for Receiving Cash
The procedure for receiving cash is different for PoR Cardholders from those with Refugee Cards or UNHCR issued Asylum-Seeker Certificates.
For POR Cardholders whose latest phone numbers are registered with NADRA
The procedure for cash disbursement to POR Cardholders whose latest phone numbers are registered with NADRA is as follows:
- POR Cardholders whose latest phone numbers are registered with NADRA will receive an SMS on their phone from Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Konnect (mobile banking account) with their POR card number, cash amount and HBL Konnect’s helpline number 021-111-425-111.
- After receiving SMS from HBL Konnect, the head of the family should visit HBL Konnect shop or agent nearby along with their PoR card (in case the head of the family cannot collect the amount, the family should contact UNHCR on its contact number).
- Once arrived at HBL Konnect Shop, the head of the family should show their original PoR Card to the HBL Konnect agent. The agent will enter their PoR card number in the system, showing the agent's receivable cash amount.
- After entering the PoR card number, the agent will verify the identity of the PoR cardholder from NADRA database through their fingerprints.
- Once the verification process is done, the agent’s system will show the payment as “successful”. If the payment is “successful”, the PoR cardholder should ensure they receive the exact amount mentioned in the SMS from 8425.
For POR Cardholders whose latest phone numbers are not registered with NADRA
POR cardholders, who have not registered their phone numbers with NADRA while making their PoR Cards or have changed their phone numbers, will be required to follow the following procedure:
- They should go to nearby PCM center and get their phone numbers updated in NADRA’s system.
- Once they update their number, they will receive an SMS from HBL Konnect with their PoR Card number and cash amount.
- Next to this the procedure for receiving cash is the same as above.
Note: HBL Konnect will send you a message only through 8425. Message regarding cash assistance program from any other number is fake or part of a scam. Please, do not share your personal information on those numbers.
HBL Konnect shops or agents are different from Habib Bank Limited (HBL) branches and ATMs. You cannot receive cash from HBL branches or ATMs. You can identify HBL Konnect shops or agents from this logo.
HBL Konnect shops are present all over Pakistan. If you cannot find HBL Konnect shop near you, contact HBL Konnect helpline at 021-111-425-111.
For Refugees with Refugee Cards or UNHCR-issued Asylum Seeker Certificate
Refugees who have Refugee Cards or UNHCR-issued asylum seekers certificates before or on December 31st, 2020, will get a call from UNHCR or its partner organization regarding date and location of cash disbursement.
Note: There is no fee for receiving cash assistance. It is totally free of cost program. If HBL Konnect agent or anyone from UNHCR partner organization demands you to pay them a fee or asks for any kind of favor, do not pay it, and report them immediately to UNHCR.
Complaint or Inquiry Registration
UNHCR Pakistan encourages refugees to contact them in case of inquiries or complaints if;
- The head of the family is unable to receive the cash amount from HBL Konnect agent due to death, disease, disability, or some other reason.
- If the refugee feels like they are being scammed or defrauded.
- If HBL agent or a UNHCR or UNHCR partner organization’s representative misbehaves with the refugee or ask them for favor which could be of any nature like financial, sexual, physical labor, etc.
- If they are not being paid the amount, they were communicated through SMS from 8425 for any reason.
- For inquiring for any clarifications on the payment process and required documentation etc.
You can contact UNHCR on the following helpline numbers or through email.
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
|Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh, and Azad Jammu Kashmir
Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 8:00pm
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
If you are an Afghan refugee seeking information regarding services in Pakistan, you can send us a private message via Bolo Facebook Page or website chat box. Our dedicated team of moderators responds to queries from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.