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.”