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Pakistan: ongoing support for people affected by displacement

19-08-2009 Operational Update

Although hundreds of thousands of people have returned to the North-West Frontier Province in the last few weeks, many are finding it hard to get back to their homes. The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent are working to assist them in this fraught situation.

  Upper and Lower Dir  

The overall level of security in Lower Dir has improved over the past week. As a result, some displaced people (IDPs) have decided to return to their homes in the area of Maidan, a scene of previous fighting. However, many people are still unable to return because of the widespread destruction of villages, and some have been newly displaced by ongoing fighting.

Last week, the ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society focused on setting up a new camp in Khungi Sha, Lower Dir, to cater for newly displaced families. Staff have pitched 250 tents, dug latrines and set up showers and tap stands providing drinking water. Sector One of the camp received the first wave of families this week. About 1,000 people are now living in the new camp, jointly run by the ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent, and the number is steadily increasing.

In the southern part of the district, the ICRC started a second round of food distributions for 23,100 displaced people staying with host families. Further north, ICRC staff handed out essential items like kitchen sets, tarpaulins, soap, blankets and buckets to over 3,000 people staying in Gandigar Camp.

  Buner  

Newly displaced people from Chagarzai kept on arriving in the district capital Daggar throughout the week. At the end of last week, the number of displaced people in Karapa Camp, the second camp set up by the local authorities, stood at almost 11,200. By Monday 17 August, 8,400 of them had already received food and essential goods from the ICRC in c ooperation with the Pakistan Red Crescent.

  Malakand  

The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent provided over 7,000 people in Rang Mela Camp with food and soap. Humanitarian activities in the district are complicated by ongoing military operations.

  Basic first-aid training  

On 12 and 13 August, the Pakistan Red Crescent branch in the North-West Frontier Province organized two days of basic first-aid training for 20 Peshawar traffic policemen with ICRC support. Policemen are often targeted by militants, and first-aid treatment in the first crucial minutes after an injury can save a life.

With ICRC support the Pakistan Red Crescent branch in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas organized three days of basic first-aid training in Peshawar for volunteers from Sadda, Kurram Agency, a scene of frequent fighting. When the training was completed, each participant was given a first-aid kit donated by the ICRC.

  ICRC surgical hospital in Peshawar  

The ICRC hospital for the weapon-wounded in Peshawar admitted 22 patients this past week, raising the number of its patients to 67. Its surgeons performed 86 operations over the same period. Patients with weapon-related injuries often require more than one operation.

  Restoring family links  

During the week, ICRC staff provided 219 free telephone calls to vulnerable displaced people in camps in Malakand, Nowshera, Charsadda and Mardan districts to help them re-establish contact with their families.

  For further information, please contact:
  Sébastien Brack, ICRC Islamabad, tel: +92 300 850 81 38
  Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Islamabad, tel: +92 300 850 56 93
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 17
 See also: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies