Sven is our Communications Officer in Pakistan, reporting on our lifesaving programs in the country.
Crisis in Northwest Pakistan: Hundreds of Thousands in Need
In Pakistan, according to the latest registration numbers collected by UN-OCHA, an estimated 950,000 people are fleeing their homes in North Waziristan to find refuge in neighboring provinces. These numbers are expected to fluctuate over the coming weeks as the registration process continues. Worryingly, an estimated 73 percent of these displaced people are women and children.
Families flee with nothing
Since June 2014, hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in the secluded region in north Pakistan due to conflict. The vast majority has found refuge in public buildings—mostly schools—or with friends and relatives across neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces.
"The people came only with clothes. They have nothing. They live in schools and some in camps. They ask for money, shelter, soap, food, clothes, household items and kitchen utensils."
-Amad Khan, Food Security and Livelihood Program Manager, ACF-Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Our response to the growing crisis
Action Against Hunger is rushing to mobilize resources and teams to respond to the emergency needs of the displaced population. We are currently scaling up our ongoing relief programs in the region to provide support to affected people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Our activities will address critical needs in the following areas:
- Nutrition: Our experience shows that due to lack of food and proper hygiene in a displacement situation, children especially can easily become vulnerable to malnutrition. We will identify and treat acutely malnourished children under five and conduct health and nutrition awareness-raising sessions for pregnant and nursing women. A total of 9,020 people will benefit from these activities.
- Food Security and Livelihoods: Most displaced families are not able to earn enough money to pay for food, rising house rents or other immediate needs. To support the families, 310 vulnerable households will receive cash assistance.
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: To prevent waterborne and communicable diseases like diarrhea and skin infections, 4,000 hygiene kits will be distributed to benefit the needs of 52,000 children, women and men.
Additionally, cash for work programs will focus on clean-up campaigns and the improvement of sanitation facilities. The money earned in these activities will support the resources and livelihoods of the displaced families.
We know that an influx of this extent will affect the resources and livelihoods of communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well. For this reason, we are committed to support both displaced families and the local population with our programs.