Sanitation and Psychosocial Support to Vulnerable IDPs in Off-camp Locations in Peshawar, Pakistan

June 1, 2014

Agency: Help Age International

This project provided WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Health) and psychosocial services to 600 families living in off-camp locations of the Peshawar district of Pakistan whose members include widows, older persons or persons with disabilities. Altogether, almost 4040 people benefited from the provision of hygiene kits, hygiene awareness promotion, and sensitivity and advocacy training as a part of this project.

The beneficiaries of this project were internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Over 17,000 displaced families from the region were registered. Having left their homes in a hurry to escape conflict, these families lack many basic needs, including health and sanitation services. When asked what their greatest need was, these refugees routinely described health services as one of their greatest needs, in addition to food and shelter.

Additional information

Help Age is the leading organisation in Pakistan advocating for the inclusion of older people and persons with disabilities in humanitarian responses. HelpAge established a presence in Pakistan following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. Since then a team of highly qualified technical staff have worked for the greater inclusion of older people affected by emergencies and in disaster preparedness activities. HelpAge has raised awareness among humanitarian actors and government institutions about the vulnerabilities of older people and Persons with Disability during emergencies.


This project reached 1,704 vulnerable internally displaced people (IDPs) which included 1,520 older people, 84 PWDs, 92 widows and 8 Orphans. Help Age distributed 900 hygiene kits (as opposed to the initially budgeted 600) and provided psychosocial counselling. Those who needed psychosocial counselling were provided with individual, family or group counselling. Sensitization sessions were also provided to 111 humanitarian workers. The workshops included topics such as “older people’s vulnerability”, “vulnerable groups in emergencies”, and “communications with older people” as well as many other topics. During the project, Help Age also made sure that 5% of the beneficiaries were from the host community, decreasing tension and improving lives of the vulnerable there as well. The Beneficiaries reported feeling cleaner and more able to look after their own health giving them a new sense of dignity. 

Case Study

Ms. Khayal Mera belongs to a small village in Tirah Valley, She is 65 years old and a heart patient. She has faced a very terrible situation in her life as her husband died during internal conflict few years ago and later her son died in a bomb blast. Further problems started when she had to move from her village due to internal conflict. After participating in the counselling sessions she said “I was feeling very disappointed but the counseling sessions helped me a lot to recover from that phase. I am thinking towards life in a positive way.”