How young Afghan refugees are working to advance social inclusion in Pakistan? (Part 1)

Posted November 30, 2021

Ezatullah, an Afghan refugee hailing from Koz Kunar, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, grew up in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. His parents fled to the Northwest (now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) province of Pakistan in the 1980's. His siblings and him were all born, raised and educated in Pakistan. They continue to live and serve the country, in their respective capacities.

“I have always been extremely heartened by the immense warmth and support given by the people of Pakistan. When I arrived in Islamabad in the pursuit of opportunities, the youth welcomed me with open arms. During my Master’s program, I had the opportunity to partake in various seminars and conferences, that allowed me to play my part in delineating Afghan culture and in bringing the two sides closer.”

There are over 2.5 million Afghans living and working in Pakistan as refugees. The Afghans deeply acknowledge Pakistan’s hospitality. Seeing this positive attitude, Ezatullah desired to serve Pakistan more keenly. His selection at UNDP Pakistan allowed him to harness that opportunity. He was able to work in several key thematic areas including, child sexual abuse, women empowerment, exploring ways in leveraging Pakistan’s ‘youth bulge’, advancing youth social inclusion and helping create spaces for youth in the public sphere.