UNHCR will fund university to establish Centre for Refugees and Migration Studies its premises
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) signed a partnership agreement with Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) on Wednesday. The collaboration is aimed at establishing a Centre for Refugees and Migration Studies (CRMS) as well as provision of training for refugee teachers and opportunities for entrepreneurship/business studies for refugee students in the university.
On the occasion, a plaque marking the establishment of the Centre was unveiled jointly by UNHCR Country Representative, Indrika Ratwatte, Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr. Imran Zeb and BUITEMS Vice Chancellor, Engr. Ahmed Farooq Bazai.
Under the partnership agreement, UNHCR will support the university to establish a CRMS in its premises and BUITEMS would provide admission to the refugee students and trainings for the refugee teachers. Delivering an inaugural lecture titled “Management of Refugees and Migrants for Lasting Regional Peace”, Indrika Ratwatte praised the commitment of BUITEMS for providing opportunities for refugees terming it as an important step towards empowering youth and achieving broader goals for peace and prosperity in the region.
“Forced displacement is one of the biggest human crises the world is facing now. Pakistan has been generously hosting refugees for decades. It is therefore essential that all stakeholders come together to facilitate durable and lasting solutions for them.” Ratwatte maintained.
Vice Chancellor BUTIMS, Ahmed Farooq Bazai stressed the need for quality education, research and academic exercises on socio-economic issues in the region including the challenges pertaining to refugees and migrants. The Vice Chancellor stated that BUITEMS is producing global citizens capable of finding tailored solutions to some of the compelling regional and global challenges. He assured that BUITEMS is fully prepared and upfront to support the national and international community in their endeavours.
The CRMS once operational will serve as a repository of information on issues related to refugees and migration, and analyse and disseminate those information to the wider audience. This will be achieved through regular publications of research works, talk programmes and organising periodic events like seminars/workshops which are expected to inform all stakeholders on issues surrounding refugees and migrants. It is expected that the outcomes of this collaboration between UNHCR and BUITEMS would assist policy and decision makers with concrete recommendations for addressing the actions needed towards management of refugees and migrants in the region. UNHCR will also facilitate BUITEMS in its efforts to strengthen the centre’s capacity by networking with other similar research centres and education institutions globally.
Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr. Imran Zeb thanked UNHCR and BUITEMS for entering into this important collaboration which should help further nurture the existing harmonious relationship and understanding between refugee and host communities and enable sustainable solutions for refugees who have endured displacement for almost four decades. “Every refugee deserves a bright and safe future and providing such admirable opportunities would not only make refugees students and teachers productive in their homeland but valuable for securing peace in the region. This is actually a contribution to lead towards prosperous world for everyone”, he said.
The event was also attended by UNHCR Deputy Representative, Johann Siffointe; Head of UNHCR sub-office Quetta Dinesh Shrestha; Commissioner Afghan Refugees Quetta, Brig (R) Masood Ahmad; Afghan Consul General, Mr. Wajeedullah Momand; BUITEMS’s faculty members and students, and representatives of UN agencies and civil society.