The IRCT together with a partner centre in Pakistan, "SACH – Struggle for Chance", is now implementing a programme to provide psychosocial support and medical assistance to Afghan victims of torture and trauma in Pakistan.
The first phase of the IRCT/SACH emergency intervention programme, funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the OAK Foundation, comprises the training of interviewers who are conducting a comprehensive survey among targeted traumatized populations to identify and establish the necessary psychosocial and medical services. The survey will also provide a critical tool in documenting the human rights violations perpetrated in Afghanistan.
Women and children are among the most vulnerable, having been subjected to or forced to witness acts of violence. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) "…at least one fifth of the 23 million people in Afghanistan, plus about a third of the four million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and other neighbouring countries, are suffering from the invisible wounds of war – severe mental disorders, especially depression and anxiety."
In addition to providing psychosocial support to the traumatized Afghan refugee population currently living in Pakistan, the IRCT and SACH also aim to support refugee populations returning to Afghanistan. A long-term objective of the programme is to contribute to the rebuilding of the health system in Afghanistan, which must include a strong rehabilitation component to thereby contribute to the overall rehabilitation of a traumatised society.