The Refugee Crisis in Pakistan – UPDATE!

Pakistani refugees

As displacement crisis continues, Charlie Dokmo, MEER Regional Vice President, visits those trapped inside the conflict zone in northwest Pakistan

On May 18, Charlie Dokmo, MEER Regional Vice President, accompanied a World Vision team into Buner District in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province to assist with the distribution of essential relief items to desperate displaced families.He also had meeting with potential partner organisations and the full team.

“The extent of the suffering among those I visited was devastating,” said Dokmo.  “These families fled for days through the mountains in crippling heat.  Some are wounded, others are sick, but all are frightened, exhausted, and extremely vulnerable.”

World Vision was the first aid agency to reach those displaced within the conflict zone in Buner, where security remains unpredictable.  Nearly 2 million people have been displaced by the conflict, and more arrive in camps and host communities every day. Charles Dokmo acknowledges the very challenging conditions the WVP team faces and supported the strategy to do targetted distribution among IDPs in host communities, who make up 85% of the IDP population. Some host villages have doubled their population with 40%, putting the community under huge pressure.

Sardaj Khan, 36, was among those who fled the fighting.  His three children, Seifullah (8), Lubna (6), and Anisa (3) depend upon Sardaj, and the wheat fields he tends, for food and other basic needs.  But the harvest is ready and Sardaj cannot return to cut the wheat because of the violence.  “If I lose the harvest, I do not know how I will feed my family this year” says Sardaj.

“Sardaj is typical of the people I met in Buner,” says Dokmo.  “They just want peace.  They want to feed their families and see them live their dreams.  The conflict has put those dreams in serious doubt.  They need our help, and they need it now.”

World Vision declared a Category II, Level II  emergency in Pakistan on May 11.  The Partnership plans to provide relief to 200,000 people affected by the conflict.Charles is contuning to work with World Vision’s ND in Pakistan Graham Strong to seek continuing support from the partnership. The initial response budget is around US$ 13 million.

For more details, see also these reports (HERE and HERE and the World Vision’s Middle East and Eastern Europe website.

UPDATE! I also suggest on this hot theme, from the online version of Der Spiegel International, two articles (HERE and HERE) and a very vivid photo gallery. If you are interested, you may register HERE for a free daily newsletter.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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