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Update on Pakistan displacement

Briefing notes

Update on Pakistan displacement

5 June 2009 Also available in:

An estimated 20,000 people are expected to move today from conflict areas of the Swat region to safer areas in Mardan, Charssada and Peshawar districts of the North West Frontier Province following the lifting this morning of the curfew from 6 a.m. to mid-afternoon local time.

To accommodate the newly displaced who have nowhere else to go, UNHCR is continuing development work in the Larama and Sugar Mill camps established earlier this week with local authorities.

More than 260,000 people are now staying in 21 camps in the NWFP, according to provincial authorities. This includes more than 170,000 people from the new influx over the past five weeks.

In Sugar Mill camp (Charssada district), about 3,600 people arrived earlier this week following the lifting of the curfew in Swat over the weekend. In Larama (Peshawar district), more than 1,600 people have been registered since the camp opened on Tuesday. They have received relief items from UNHCR including mats, jerry cans and kitchen sets. Our local partner, the Society for Social Development (SSD), is continuing to level new ground today so we can pitch more tents for possible additional arrivals. A total of 550 family tents have been pitched there so far.

Camps in Mardan have now reached full capacity, and the newly displaced are being directed to camps in Swabi, Charsadda and Peshawar. We are also continuing to expand existing camps like Yar Hussain, in Swabi, which received another 1,300 people this week. More ground has been leveled to pitch another 600 tents in anticipation of new arrivals. Meanwhile, we are continuing to improve conditions in the existing camps while we look for new sites.

On overall figures, the fast-track registration data collected over the past month is still being cross-checked and verified by the National Database Authority (NADRA) and they have informed us that final verified registration data is not yet finalised. However, to date NADRA is reported to have verified more than 220,000 families and there are tens of thousands of family forms still to be entered and cross checked. In addition, NADRA will soon begin to register displaced people in Sindh province.

UNHCR still needs some $67 million dollars (out of a total appeal of $105 million) for its operation helping displaced people in Pakistan until the end of the year. That amount, however, was based on the previous planning figure of 1.5 million displaced people and the figure may need to be revised when new registration figures are available.