United Nations Human Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) inaugurated a skills development center for vulnerable Afghan and non-Afghan refugees in the metropolis.The project opened by UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Ruvendrini Menikdiwela will provide artisanal skills training to refugee women to help them become economically self-reliant. It was earlier this week on Monday.The initiative will teach refugee women how to make crafts and how to market their products. One hundred vulnerable women will receive skills training in hand-made embroidery, home decoration items, thread-work, tailoring and jewelry making.In addition to training, materials, equipment and machinery will be provided under the six-month project. All trainees will be provided tool kits or sewing machines so that they can work after the training ends.The training curriculum focuses on improving the quality of the crafts produced and enhancing refugees’ marketing and business skills. UNHCR will support the refugee women with market exposure so they are able to understand current market trends in order to improve their work. An exhibition to link the artisans with national markets will be arranged.“A project like this will have a great impact on the lives of these vulnerable people. Such an initiative will improve the income-generating capacity of refugees,” said Menikdiwela. Menikdiwela added that these sessions would not only help make refugees self-reliant in Pakistan, but would also improve their future economic prospects upon return to Afghanistan.Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN), an organisation supporting micro and small enterprises across the country is implementing the project with FNK Asia, a fashion brand in Pakistan. Pakistan continues to host 1.39 million (m) Afghan refugees. Some 63,000 Afghan refugees are residing in Sindh, mostly in Karachi.Published in Daily Times, November 21st 2018.