Swat IDPs Problems

A line is divided into two as they wait their turn to collect food : photo by APEmilio Morenatti
A line is divided into two as they wait their turn to collect food : photo by APEmilio Morenatti

Mardan, about 70km northwest of Peshawar, capital of the NWFP, is the first place those fleeing volatile areas like Buner, Swat and Lower Dir come to, and the government has established three camps in the district – Jalala, Sheikh Yasin and Sheikh Shahzad.

Arriving in Jalala by rickshaw, car, small truck or bus, most internally displaced persons (IDPs) carry little more than the clothes on their backs, according to a statement by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The number of IDPs is going up by the hour as more people take advantage of an easing of curfew restrictions.

According to IDPs in Jalala, the camp contains some 1,700 families, and conditions are “awful”. It’s very hot and the swat dwellers are not used to this heat in which Sitting in tents is like being in a ‘tandoor’ [clay oven].”
Despite the heat, women had no choice but to remain cooped up inside as they observed ‘purdah’ (seclusion).
The majority of women and children are suffering from scabies, diarrhea and high fever.
There is not enough water: the toilets are in a terrible state and food is not available in adequate quantity as the number of IDPS goes on and on.

Pakistani people, NGOs, UN and many other organizations are working at their full capacity but the problem is the huge influx which is seen for the first time in history. The internally displaced persons had to live in camps until the Operation RAH E RAST by Pakistan Army comes to an end. They can not harvest their wheat crop which is a huge economical loss. It will be required that their aid should not be stopped if they had gone to their homes. Pakistani people, NGOs, UN and many other organizations are working at their full capacity but the problem is the huge influx which is seen for the first time in history. The internally displaced persons had to live in camps until the Operation RAH E RAST by Pakistan Army comes to an end. They can not harvest their wheat crop which is a huge economical loss. It will be required that their aid should not be stopped if they had gone to their homes as they are suffering economically as well.

I urge all of you to come forward and help them in this hard time.

Source: IRIN

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