The United Nations top humanitarian official today visited people affected by conflict in northwestern Pakistan and appealed for continued humanitarian assistance for them, many of whom expressed their desire to return to their areas of origin.
“Many of the people I met today want to return home and restart their lives,” said Valerie Amos, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, when she visited the northern area of Kyber Pakhthunkwa (KPK) province on the final day of her four-day visit to Pakistan.
“We need to make sure that we assist them through that process and support them until conditions are right for their return,” said Ms. Amos. “The situation in the north is extremely complex – some of the people affected were refugees, who became internally displaced and now have to cope with the impact of the floods,” she added.
Ms. Amos visited Jalozai Camp, where nearly 97,000 men, women and children are living in tents and receiving clean drinking water, food, education, and other basic services. The majority of the camp's residents were displaced by the conflict in the northern agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Some of them arrived there more than two years ago.
Floods that hit Pakistan following the onset on the monsoon rainfall in late July have created one of the largest humanitarian crises the UN and its humanitarian partners have ever responded to. Aid agencies have mobilised resources to reach millions of people throughout the affected areas.
However, more resources are needed to help people resume farming activities and rebuild their homes and livelihoods.
“The world''s attention is waning at a time when some of the biggest challenges are still to come," said Ms. Amos, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “Millions of people need continued assistance in terms of health care, education and agricultural support,” she added.
The UN and partners have a revised Flood Emergency Response Plan requesting nearly $1.94 billion, and so far, 49 per cent of the funding requirements, or $958 million, has been received.
“The world must not close its eyes to the needs of the Pakistani people. We must continue to help the most vulnerable families. They want a future for their children”, said Ms. Amos.