Stakeholders signify community services for better society


Highlighting the significance of community work towards serving the persons in need, stakeholders and representatives of community organizations have called for sustained initiatives to extend maximum services in diverse fields as it would help in minimizing the issues the society is facing.
These views were expressed at the launch of an annual report of International Rescue Committee (IRC) 2021 here on Wednesday. Government officials, members of the civil society and representatives of development sector associated with IRC attended the event, said a media release.
The IRC has been working in Pakistan since 1980 with the launch of multiple programs to meet the needs of health, education, protection, environmental health, and livelihoods for displaced, underprivileged, and disaster-affected communities.
“Undoubtedly, when we work together the results are multiplied. We learnt this while working with the IRC management for different community programmes,” said Kumaria, one of IRC’s clients who had benefited from its interventions.
She said that now they are working together to resolve issues in our areas – we have a collective voice that has more impact. “The areas that we are working on primarily involve WASH governance, but the way we have been empowered has gone a long way in enabling us to take actions for ourselves,” she said.
Addressing the audience, IRC Country Director in Pakistan Shabnam Baloch, while shedding light on the organization’s work, said, “At the IRC, meaningful participation of organizations receiving its relief and services is a prerequisite for principled and effective programming. People’s empowerment is enhanced by participation, as is mutual trust between clients and assistance and service providers.”
“We are working to empower communities by eliminating their sufferings through evidence-based programming,” stated Shabnam Baloch.
In the year 2021, the IRC served 33 million clients in Pakistan in coordination with the government and with the support of its donors and partners. During this period, the IRC inked and maintained successful partnerships with the relevant government departments including NDMA, PDMA, KP, Director General Health Services (KP), Primary & Secondary Health Department (Balochistan), Non-Formal Education and HR Dept, (Balochistan), and Public Health and Engineering Dept, KP.
Dr Aurangzeb, Emergency Response Coordinator, Medical Emergency Resilience Foundation (MERF), shared his views on how the IRC sustains and empowers its local partners. “Under our partnership, the IRC and MERF served around 142,569 people through our top-notch COVID-19 isolation centers. We continue to work together, reaching out to marginalized communities in some of the most difficult areas.”
While speaking at the occasion, Noor Begum, one of IRC’s clients from Swat, said, “IRC has helped in empowering and improving the lives of young girls in our community by offering health-related medical services, awareness, and vocational training.”
The IRC programming in Pakistan is carefully aligned with and connected to governmental priorities and policies. This has allowed IRC to continue working in principled and collaborative partnerships with government entities across Pakistan.