ISLAMABAD: German Ambassador Bernhard Schlagheck and States and Frontier Regions minister Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan jointly inaugurated a community centre for Afghan refugees and Pakistani host communities in Rawalpindi on Monday. They felt that the facility, Urban Cohesion Hub, would help foster social cohesion. According to them, the Hub, which was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and established in cooperation with the Chief Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees under the SAFRON Ministry, would support over 30,000 refugee and host community members with integrated services in health, education, skills training, legal support, and recreational activities. The initiative emphasises supporting vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, working children, elderly people, youth, and women. The services provided at the hub were developed through a participatory approach in consultation with the communities, the government, and UNHCR. The hub’s approach is in line with regional and global policies to ease pressure on refugee-hosting countries and build self-reliance of refugees. The project is implemented by the GIZ Refugee Management Support Programme through ICMC. Minister Sahibzada Sultan said for the last 40 years, Pakistanis had shown exemplary kindness, empathy and solidarity towards Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He said the Urban Cohesion Hub was a prime example of the German government’s cooperation and assistance towards refugees and host communities. Ambassador Schlagheck said the Urban Cohesion Hub was testimony to the close and multifaceted German-Pakistani relations, which would witness their 70th anniversary this year. He said the services to be provided through the hub would promote peaceful coexistence in an important urban refugee affected and hosting area of Pakistan.