Toll-Free Helpline ‘Marsata’ launched for displaced Afghans

PESHAWAR  -  In a significant move to sup­port Afghan displaced individuals in Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa, Blue Veins, in collaboration with The Inter­national Organization for Migration (IOM) Pakistan, has inaugurated the toll-free helpline named Marsa­ta (0800-02828).

A press release issued on Friday highlighted the helpline’s dedicated focus on providing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) referral services, marking a pivotal step in assisting the vulnerable Afghan community.

Gender-based violence (GBV) remains a prevalent issue within the displaced Afghan community, fur­ther exacerbated by a lack of necessary knowledge and awareness needed to seek assistance.

Survivors and communities often remain unaware of available resources or services, fearing stigma, which leads to underreporting and perpetuation of the violence cycle.

Addressing this awareness gap and providing ac­cessible information becomes crucial for the protec­tion and empowerment of affected individuals.

To ensure effective coordination with other help­lines and service providers, a comprehensive map­ping of service providers was undertaken for the ef­ficient provision of services by the Marsata Helpline.

During the launching ceremony held in Peshawar, Fazal Rabbi, Director of the SSU Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, expressed commitment from the Pakistan Government and Af­ghan Commissionerate to enhance protection ser­vices for the Afghan community, safeguarding them from harassment, violence, and abuse.

Amir Hamza, Protection Coordinator at IOM Paki­stan, emphasized the paramount importance of this initiative, stating, “Protecting the displaced Afghan population is paramount. Marsata will play a pivot­al role in offering crucial support and services, espe­cially to those affected by GBV. It’s more than a help­line; it can be a lifeline for many.”

Qamar Naseem, Program Manager at Blue Veins, stressed the significance of connecting GBV survi­vors to service providers, noting, “For displaced pop­ulations, especially GBV survivors, access to the right services can be life-changing. Marsata isn’t just a helpline; it’s a bridge linking those in need to a net­work of support and care. This can profoundly im­pact their recovery and integration.”

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