Pakistani actress Mahira Khan has been announced as UNHCR National Goodwill Ambassador.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Khan had been supporting UNHCR’s activities for the last few years and has remained a strong voice for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Ms. Khan said, “I feel privileged to have been chosen to serve this noble cause."

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Khan said that Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees for four decades. “I feel proud that my country is one of the most generous countries of the world,” she said.

“By becoming UNHCR National Goodwill Ambassador, I wish to stand behind such incredible acts of hospitality and humanity.”

She said that the majority of refugees are being hosted by the developing countries and a sense of shared responsibility has yet to be achieved. “More needs to be done to support countries and communities which host refugees.”

UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Mr. George Okoth-Obbo, the Minister of State for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Mr. Shehryar Khan Afridi, UNHCR’s Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR’s Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, and other distinguished guests attended the ceremony.

Mr. George Okoth-Obbo said, “I am delighted to see Pakistani celebrities coming forward in support of the refugee cause, making their voices heard locally, nationally and globally, and having a very strong influence on youth,” he said.

Mr. Okoth-Obbo said that as the newly appointed UNHCR National Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Khan will help reinvigorated support for refugees.

On the occasion, an Afghan refugee woman presented the Goodwill Ambassador with a shawl.

The handmade shawl made by women in Pakistan, including refugees, was a gift from the designer and philanthropist Mr. Rizwan Beyg, also a high-profile supporter of UNHCR in Pakistan.