UN reaches 2.7 million conflict-affected Pakistanis with food aid

19 March 2010
WFP has reached more than two million IDPs since fighting resumed in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province in May 2009

The United Nations food agency distributed some 37,000 metric tons of food to more than 2.7 million people in conflict-affected areas of Pakistan this month, including 1.6 million people who were displaced at the height of the crisis in 2009 and who have now returned to their original homes.

Beneficiaries also included 200,000 people who did not move from the affected areas, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

The March food distribution marked the final round of free food deliveries to people returning to the Swat Valley and Buner district in Pakistan’s north-west, where Government forces have been fighting militants.

As part of its assistance this month, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is introducing a variety of early recovery activities, focusing on education, health, livelihood support and rehabilitation of infrastructure in areas of return.

Meanwhile, an estimated 167,000 people have been displaced from Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). A new camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) is being established at Hangu.

In total, the number of IDPs in Pakistan now stands at 1.24 million, with just over 24,000 families living in 10 camps. Nearly two million previously displaced people have gone back to their areas of origin.

On funding, OCHA reported that the Pakistan humanitarian response plan, which requested $537 million for 2010, is so far only 1.4 per cent funded, having received just over $7.5 million.


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