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Pakistan: ICRC and Pakistan Red Crescent assist displaced and returnees

22-09-2009 Operational Update

The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society continue to assist displaced people and those who have already returned to their home areas.

  ©ICRC/P. Fichard/pk-e-0906    
  Dir Disrict, North-West Frontier Province. Displaced people in a camp set up at a school.    

  ©ICRC/P. Fichard/pk-e-00899    
  Dir Disrict, North-West Frontier Province. Displaced children at a water point constructed by the ICRC.    


" People continue to move back to their homes, particularly to Swar and Maidan, in Lower Dir, " said Benno Kocher, in charge of the ICRC's operations in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). " However, people remain displaced in Upper Dir and there has recently been displacement in Khyber Agency, close to Peshawar. We will continue to provide assistance both for displaced people and for returnees in the foreseeable future. "

  Dir, Swat, and Malakand Districts: tens of thousands assisted  

The ICRC has distributed food and soap to over 55,000 people still living in camps and with host families in Upper and Lower Dir over the last two weeks.

Most people who had left Maidan, in Lower Dir, to escape the fighting of previous months have now returned to their homes. The ICRC team assessing the local infrastructure and economy found damaged houses and abandoned fields. Electricity and water networks are in disrepair. Unexploded munitions remain a significant threat.

While the government partially lifted its curfew in Swat, access to some areas remained restricted owing to security concerns. With ICRC support, the Pakistan Red Crescent has expanded its operations in Swat over the last two weeks. Joint teams distributed food and soap to almost 35,000 residents of Kabbal. ICRC delegates, who had been unable to work in Swat since 4 August, returned to the district on 10 September.

The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent also distributed food and soap to almost 12,000 displaced people living in Rangmala camp and with host families in Lower Malakand.

  Buner District: returnees face difficulties  

Sawari and Karapa camps for the displaced in Daggar closed after all displaced people returned to their home villages in Chagarzai. The ICRC carried out an assessment in Chagarzai on 2 September and in Gokand on 3 September to evaluate immediate needs.

Access to electricity and fuel remains problematic, especially for medical facilities. During the first week of September, the ICRC provided 1,200 litres of diesel to the District Headquarters Hospital in Daggar, which allowed it to run its generator during power cuts. The hospital serves a population of 30,000. The ICRC also donated clinical delivery sets and kits to the hospital's maternity department.

  Khyber Agency (FATA): new displacements  

With the start of hostilities in Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency, close to Peshawar, local families were displaced to Jamrud Tehsil (Khyber Agency), to nearby villages in Peshawar district and to the NWFP capital. The Pakistan Red Crescent distributed food to displaced people inside Khyber Agency with support from the ICRC. Almost 2,400 displaced persons have so far been assisted. Assessments of needs are continuing.

  Re-establishing family links and tracing missing persons  

Over the past two weeks, the ICRC has distributed 45 Red Cross messages from detainees in the NWFP and collected 26 such messages. ICRC staff made trips to Buner in an effort to re-establish family links. Displaced people in Jalozai and Familo camps, in Nowshera district, and in Palosa camp, in Charsada district, were given the opportunity to make free telephone calls in order to re-establish contact with relatives. The ICRC put through 275 calls for them, including 38 international calls.

  Mine-risk education aims to reduce the number of mine victims  

ICRC staff visited the Jalozai, Jalala, Palosa, Khungi Shah and Technical College camps in Nowshera, Mardan and Dir districts, where they held 44 mine-risk education sessions attended by over 1,800 people, including women and children, in a bid to reduce the number of mine victims.

  Peshawar surgical hospital for weapon-wounded patients: 194 operations in two weeks  

Over the past two weeks, the ICRC surgical hospital for weapon-wounded patients in Peshawar has admitted 44 new patients and discharged 35, with surgeons performing 194 operations.

  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
  Simon Schorno, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 9302

  or visit the website of the
  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies