Aid agencies assisting hundreds of thousands of displaced Pakistanis – UN

19 November 2009

United Nations agencies and their humanitarian partners are assisting hundreds of thousands of civilians uprooted by the latest military operations in Pakistan which intensified nearly three weeks ago.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 400,000 people have fled the clashes between Government forces and militants in South Waziristan to seek safety in two neighbouring districts.

Of the total registered, approximately 300,000 people have fled the area since mid-October, and most of these are poor people who desperately need humanitarian assistance.

Despite the insecurity, OCHA said humanitarian actors on the ground are working to provide the internally displaced persons (IDPs) with assistance.

Since early November, a partner agency of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has distributed around 9,000 tents in the district of Dera Ismail Khan, most of which have been set up in the gardens of host families, to relieve the burden on the hosts.

In addition, UN agencies and their partners have helped to register IDPs and provide monthly food rations, hygiene kits and household items, as well as provide vaccinations for children and improve community water supplies.

The UN has repeatedly called on all parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of unarmed civilians, especially women and children, as well as safe passage for those escaping the violence.

 

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Pakistanis continue to flee violence in northwest, UN reports

Nearly 14,000 people fleeing the latest round of clashes between Government forces and militants in the north-western Pakistani region of South Waziristan, have been registered, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.