UNDP responds to the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan

17 Jun 2009

A view of the Jalozai camp at Nowshehra, North West Frontier Province

UNDP is working with the provincial government in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province to respond to a wave of internally displaced persons, or IDPs, who have fled violence and insecurity there. Battles between Taliban and Government forces have pushed an estimated 4.2 million people from their homes since May, with only a small percentage of them finding refuge in IDP camps.

In the immediate aftermath of the exodus, UNDP is providing support to provincial government in its efforts to assess and coordinate early recovery needs for a sustainable return of the IDPs. For example, it has provided the funds to set up a hotline providing immediate information on relief activities to help government and development partners to coordinate their efforts; the hotline is also accessible to the media and ordinary citizens.

UNDP is also supporting the UN in undertaking rapid assessments of the IDP’s immediate needs in order to meet their most urgent requirements. These needs so far have included food rations, shelter, schooling for children, special health and nutritional assistance for mothers and babies, emergency medical care for all and clean water and sanitation to prevent an outbreak of disease in the soaring heat. The impact on host communities needs must also be assessed in order to supplement their overstretched resources.

In addition to supporting these immediate relief efforts, UNDP is taking the lead in beginning the process of more long term recovery efforts. For example, it is working to strengthen local capacities in the areas of law and order and livelihoods rehabilitation while also providing support in terms of emergency shelter and overall coordination of relief efforts.

In response to the Government’s request for humanitarian assistance, the UN has launched a wider appeal to the international community for funds to provide aid and protection to these new IDPs and to continue to provide assistance to the half a million people who began fleeing the conflict last August.

More photos

At the Mardan camp

An IDP is waiting for his turn to get food ration at the Jalaozai camp, Nowshehra district

A man takes rice to his tent in the Mardan camp

An IDP waiting for food at the Mardan camp