Growing displacement crisis in Pakistan's North Waziristan region
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Dan McNorton – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The number of people displaced by the current offensive conducted by Pakistan's military against Taliban militants in North Waziristan Agency continues to rise.
According to the latest government registration figures, more than 435,000 people (114,496 men, 137,301 women and 183,532 children) have left the military operation zones in North Waziristan Agency.
This new influx of displaced people is now being registered in Saidgai in the Frontier Region of Bannu, as well as Kurrum and Alizai in the Kurram Agency to the north-east of North Waziristan Agency.
Most of the families have sought refuge in different parts of Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan and Tank districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
There are also reports of families now arriving in Punjab and Balochistan. Almost all IDPs are being absorbed into host communities.
The government of Pakistan and our UN and humanitarian community partners expect up to half a million people could be displaced by the current military operations, bringing the total number of displaced people from the tribal regions of the country to 1.5 million (including the 930,000 people uprooted in various waves since 2009.)
Under the leadership of the humanitarian coordinator, the UN met with the government of Pakistan yesterday where we extended our support for humanitarian operations in the area of protection and registration, as well as the provision of emergency relief items. The meeting took place with the Ministry for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) - the coordinating ministry for relief efforts - which had made a formal request to the UN for assistance.
A key challenge for the humanitarian community is access to the areas where the displaced are arriving. The UN and partners have called for full and unimpeded access to the affected populations to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Across the border in Afghanistan, a number of people displaced from North Waziristan have moved to Khost and Paktika provinces.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
- In Kabul, Mohammad Nader Farhad on mobile +93 791 99 00 18
- In Islamabad, Duniya Aslam Khan on mobile +92 300 501 7939
- In Geneva, Dan McNorton on mobile +41 79 217 3011