IDP in for hard times as UN runs short of $78m -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IDP in for hard times as UN runs short of $78m

By: Amin Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: Basic humanitarian services for more than 771,000 displaced people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata are facing discontinuation by the end of the year due to a $78 million funding shortfall among humanitarian partners, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) said in a report on Monday.

According to the report, over 18,000 families living in three camps for temporarily displaced people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata will not receive tents and other shelter items through harsh winter as planned in the fall.

“Humanitarian partners will discontinue the provision of return packages comprising basic relief items to more than 390,000 people returning to their houses in safe areas in Fata. Around 20,000 families returning to either uninhabitable damaged houses or severely damaged houses in five Fata agencies will not receive shelter support unless more funds were immediately secured.”

The report said at the end of 2012, thousands of families in conflict-affected districts of Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa and Fata and, flood-affected areas of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab remained in need of humanitarian assistance. It said while donors made generous contributions of over $290 million to Humanitarian Operational Plans for both complex emergency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata and flood-affected areas during the year, the humanitarian community still needed another $160 million to continue assisting people.

The report said medical aid at 225 primary health care facilities in camps and host communities would cease beyond December, raising the risk of disease outbreaks.

“Some 15,000 malnourished children and 15,000 pregnant and lactating women will no longer receive specialist assistance when nutrition activities stop at the end of the year. Further, reproductive health care services to 2,800 women and new-born will be discontinued.”

According to the report, agriculture and livestock support to 70,000 IDPs in camps, off-camp and to returnees in need of critical livestock and agricultural livelihood support may stop beyond December and this could result in increased food insecurity and erosion of coping capacities.

It said the education of more than 43,902 children in camps and 59,948 in host communities would stop when funding ran out by the end of December and that a gap in schooling for these children might result in the permanent termination of the children’s education.

The report said additional funds would only sustain the existing activities for the next six months and more funds were needed to reach more children, while protection services, including referrals and responses to gender-based violence, would cease at the end of the year unless more funds were provided.

It said standing water was still present in flood-affected districts of Sindh, including Jaffarabad, Jacobabad and some areas of Kashmore, which was impacting the rabi season, especially the planting of wheat and oilseeds.

The report said wheat represented a major food and income source for these families and the loss of the season would set families back with further debt, without food and income for the upcoming year.