Livelihoods – Peshawar

In Peshawar, the most common livelihoods for Afghan refugees are as daily wage labourers in carpet weaving factories and as drivers. Some refugees do manage small family businesses and factories in Peshawar and others are skilled labourers or have government or private jobs.

Carpet weaving is primarily considered to be a vocation conducted by Hazara and Turkman minorities. Those refugees that are self-employed typically are in transport, hotel, farming, livestock rearing, beekeeping, handicrafts and brick production businesses.

The average monthly income for income earning Afghans ranges between PKR 6,500 to PKR 12,500 compared with the Pakistani average of approximately 21,000 PKR. Refugee household income in Peshawar ranges from 11,000 to 16,500 PKR (PPVR 2011). Refugees living further away from the centre of Peshawar tend to earn less.

Many children also work and typically earn between 100 and 300 PKR a day (1 to 3 USD). Adult daily wage labourers typically earn 300 to 500 PKR a day (3 to 5 USD).

Many refugees receive remittances from family or friends living abroad.

Many livelihoods and vocation skills trainings have been conducting in Peshawar as part of the RAHA programme. See explore.rahapakistan.org for details of these projects.

Barriers identified by refugees to setting up their own businesses include a lack of initial capital, poor linkages between businesses in the market place, expensive raw materials and tools.

Refugees, men and women, have requested microfinancing schemes, vocational trainings, small scale enterprises loans and business support schemes. Refugees also direly need to be able to open bank accounts, which is currently not included in the refugees’ rights in Pakistan. In KP changes to the law governing rental legal agreements has resulted in refugees face greater difficulties in finding appropriate premises to rent.