Focus of Pakistan aid efforts swing to areas of return, reports UN
4 September 2009 – The massive emergency aid effort in north-west Pakistan has shifted focus from areas hosting civilians displaced by the Government’s military operation against militants to places of return, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.
OCHA reported that some 1.6 million – of the over 2 million – who fled the armed clashes in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have now returned to their homes in Swat, Buner, Dir and Shangla districts.
NWFP authorities have asked the World Food Programme (WFP) to feed almost 400,000 people in the Swat district, who stayed behind during the military operation, and another 224,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have returned.
In addition, the international aid community intends to increase the number of humanitarian hubs in Swat, Buner and Bajaur from 14, while hubs in the areas which hosted the majority of IDPs are being closed.
OCHA stressed that there is an urgent need to provide school supplies for the new school year, especially school tents, until pre-fabricated shelters arrive for some 525 schools in Swat and 15 in Buner.
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