May 17, 2012

CWS emergency appeal: Pakistan displacement 2012 (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province)

Appeal #: 700-D
CWS appeal goal: $854,638

Situation:

Due to increasing military operations against militants in tribal regions and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (northern Pakistan), residents have begun evacuating to safer regions. The city of Peshawar and its surrounding areas as well as Jalozai camp in Nowshera are the primary destinations for these displaced people. Jalozai camp has historically housed large numbers of refugees as it was initially established for the Afghan refugees back in 1989, and later became host to the internally displaced people from Swat and Buner districts in 2008-2009.

According to the United Nations, the total number of displaced persons as of April 25 in or near the Jalozai refugee camp located near Peshawar is now 207,521, or some 47,641 families. However, the majority of those displaced are staying out of the Jalozai camp and inside are living in the nearby or host communities of Peshawar, Nowshehra and Kohat.

An overwhelming majority of those displaced communities are poor and economically insecure; as nearly nine out of 10 of the displaced are living outside the camp, they have very minimal access to humanitarian support from the UN and other agencies. They are now resorting to selling whatever household assets they have in order to manage the house rent and other immediate needs such as food and health.

The problem with food is particularly vexing: getting to the food distribution hub established by World Food Program is not easy – it is far away and people have to wait in lines for hours and then have to hire a vehicle to take their packages back to the area of their settlement which further deprives them off from whatever little cash they have.

A needs assessment by CWS staff in Pakistan also indicates that people are living in poor conditions with low food intake, and thus are vulnerable to a number of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Currently, the displaced in the host communities of Peshawar and Nowshehra do not have easy access to emergency and primary health care, and the problem is particularly acute among women.

"Due to the lack of the availability of local resources, basic services and increased burden on the host area and host communities, these problems (if remain unaddressed) would most likely contribute in ensuing a bigger humanitarian crisis," CWS said in its assessment.

The rapid needs assessments conducted by CWS staff and other organizations show that thousands of the displaced families have neither anything to eat nor any means to earn for themselves. Moreover, the displaced population had to evacuate from their areas of origin immediately and are now without basic living items like housewarex, basic health and sanitation items and cooking utensils.

The health services in Peshawar were already over-crowded due to the huge population of the area but they are now over-burdened because of the displaced population. The CWS rapid assessment indicates an emerging crisis in the basic human needs and development areas in the assessed displacement locations due to rising costs in housing, food and healthcare, limited economic opportunities and declining wages.

CWS response:

The CWS response includes providing emergency assistance for an estimated 40,000 persons, including food parcels for 2,000 displaced families (some 8,000 persons), as well as non-food items for another 2,000 families (again, 8,000 persons).

As well, CWS will provide health care services and free essential medicine to 4,000 families (24,000 individuals) via mobile health units.

The response will focus on displaced families who have been displaced recently in 2012 and are staying in the host communities. Priority will also be given to families who have not received food and non-food assistance from any other source and who don’t have their own income sources to feed their families at their own.

A key part of the response is to work with local municipal groups called union councils in order to better serve the beneficiaries in affected communities.

Food packages include: flour (80 kg); rice (30 kg); cooking oils (4.5 litres); lentils (14 kg); sugar (4 kg); tea leaves (400 grams) iodized salt (800 grams). Non-food items will include match boxes; jerry cans; plastic buckets; mosquito nets and sleeping mats.

Budget:

$854,638, includes $814,747 in direct assistance, including $698,724 for food, non-food items and distribution; and $116,023 for health programming.

How to help:

Financial contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts around the world may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.