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Pakistan: Difficulty in receiving food during Ramadan

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Pakistan: Difficulty in receiving food during Ramadan

14 August 2010 Also available in:
News Story 11 August 2010

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, August 11 (UNHCR) – On the eve of holy month of Ramadan, Sheraz and his family hope to get some food so that they can start preparation for fasting next day.

Sheraz, a cook by profession lost everything in the recent flooding "We were not rich but we had our own home – a mud house and I had never thought that one day we would be on road".

He lost his home and his job – as the restaurant he worked for has been also washed away. His family has been accommodated by distant relatives "They have given us shelter but they are poor themselves and they cannot afford to provide us food three times a day" Sheraz added.

His wife Nazia is still daunted by the traumatic experience she went through "I woke up at midnight because people were shouting. I grabbed my children and left the house, the water was up to my knees. It was very hard to keep walking in rising water which had reached my chest and it (water) was so powerful that I felt that someone was pushing me really hard and I could not keep my balance and fell along with my child" they were lucky to be saved by her husband.

35 years old, Abdul Karim from Bajauar agency has just received UNHCR's Ramadan food package in Jalozai IDP camp and hopes to be home soon "Two years ago, fighting in Bajaur agency compelled us to leave our homes. I am praying that this may be our last Ramadan in this camp (Jalozai IDP camp) and that I can celebrate Eid in my village".

Nazia is going to miss her neigbours and frequent exchange of food that they had in this holy month, "We (neighbours) would exchange even if we had made the simplest food for breaking the fast – Ramadan's spirit is sharing but now people have dispersed. Some of them are living in tents, some are living with their relatives in distant areas" she added sadly.

Around twenty thousand IDP families living in three camps Jalozai, Togh Sarai, and Benazir Complex camp will receive UNHCR Ramadan food assistance package.

Millions of people have been affected in recent flooding and so far UNHCR has provided more than 41,000 plastic tarpaulins, 14,500 family tents, 70,000 blankets, 40,000 sleeping mats, 14,800 kitchen sets, 26,600 jerry cans, 18,600 plastic buckets, 17,700 mosquito nets and 13.3 tons of soap amongst the flood affected people of Pakistan.



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.