Displaced from fighting in northwest Pakistan exceed 181,000

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 13 April 2012, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The number of people displaced by an ongoing government security operation in northwest Pakistan has reached 181,021. Significant numbers of new arrivals from Khyber Agency are approaching UNHCR at the Jalozai camp for the internally displaced, which is located near the city of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

UNHCR's response is part of an inter-agency effort supporting the government's Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). Inside Jalozai, 72 registration desks have been established to keep pace with the flow of new arrivals. The operation is registering about ten thousand individuals a day. The vast majority of those registered - 85 per cent - choose not to live in the Jalozai camp, opting instead to stay with friends, relatives or in rented accommodation. Around 11,000 families, or more than 50 thousand individuals, have moved into Jalozai.

The PDMA will soon be opening two additional registration points, which will also work as hubs for distributing humanitarian relief.

UNHCR has so far distributed more than 37,000 humanitarian relief kits, which include items such as sleeping mats and jerry cans, while sister UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO and WFP are proving assistance in the areas of mother and child heath, child protection, water and sanitation, primary education, distribution of food rations and vaccinations.

More than 4,000 additional tents have been erected in the area of Jalozai that is being used to house the new arrivals. Adequate space remains at the camp to accommodate additional families.

Systems are also in place to identify and assist those people with particular protection concerns. A grievance and legal desk has been established at the Jalozai registration point to facilitate vulnerable groups who may need additional assistance due to lost registration forms, old national identity cards, or missing identity cards.

A total of more than 650,000 people are displaced in Pakistan's Khyber Pakkhtunkhwa province and the FATA region as a result of security operations against militant groups.

For further information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Islamabad, Pakistan: Duniya Aslam Khan on mobile +92 300 501 7939
  • In Geneva: Babar Baloch on mobile +41 79 557 9106