Eid relief package distributed among transgenders affected by coronavirus

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Zubair Qureshi

The Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) launched Eid Relief Packages for transgenders affected by Covid-19.
The beneficiaries for the distribution have been identified through a preliminary socio-economic rapid need assessment for COVID-19 to address and cater to the most vulnerable transgender persons, led and driven by the transgender community.
MOHR and UNDP have involved civil society partners who are also members of the Ministry of Human Rights National implementation Committee and focal points in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to conduct the assessment.
A total of 120 ration bags will be distributed to the transgender persons identified through the need based assessment. The remaining individual relief packages were handed over to focal persons for distribution to deserving members of the population.
Bubbli Malik, committee member from Punjab, and Nadeem Kashish, committee member from Islamabad, conducted the survey among 75 transgender persons in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to identify the needs of the grassroots level trans community during this pandemic.
United Nations Development Program Consultant Nayyab Ali has coordinated the assessment while Aisha Mughal from the Ministry of Human Rights along with the relevant United Nations Development Program and United Nations Population Fund team members is overseeing the process.
Federal Secretary for Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha distributed ration bags to three transgenders at the ceremony.
MoHR constituted a National Implementation Committee under the Transgender Persons Act 2018. Pakistan has one of the most progressive transgender laws, granting transgender persons equal rights, including the right to self-identification of gender. Provincial Consultation meetings have been conducted in all four provinces in order to reduce Transphobic stigma and discrimination with Transgender community. Police sensitization sessions and consultations have also been conducted to finalize guidelines for police engagement with transgenders in the Islamabad Capital Territory.
She further said, “MoHR is also establishing Protection Centers for Transgender Persons in order to provide shelter, rehabilitation and other medical and psychological care. Separate Wards have also been opened at PIMS for the members of Transgender Community.

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