A complex emergency on the frontier
Over 50,000 families have fled the conflict between government troops and insurgents in Northwestern Pakistan over the last four years. ACTED is mobilized to meet the diverse needs of newly and previously displaced peoples, returnees, stayees and host communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Many who stayed behind throughout the fighting and families who are making the brave journey home have also noted specific needs. And of course the host families who have housed and offered their resources to these families, sometimes for years at a time, are finding their resources increasingly strained. The humanitarian community moved quickly to determine the specifics of this complex emergency – who was going where, who was staying where, how many families were newly displaced, who had been displaced for a longer period of time, how the host communities were coping and what are the shelter, food, education, water, sanitation and hygiene needs.
ACTED was among the first humanitarian stakeholders in 2012 to conduct assessments with the aim of determining these outstanding needs. ACTED participated in inter-agency needs assessments on Khyber off-camp internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnee populations in Peshawar, Nowshera and Kohat Districts, conducted in April 2012. The studies found that many families faced problems in registering for humanitarian assistance at the only registration point nationwide – Jalozai Camp – due to a lack of necessary documentation, unclear procedures and long queues. Food and shelter were identified as a key need, while water, sanitation and hygiene concerns grew daily among communities with long-term IDPs. Furthermore, families intending to return to their homes were unprepared for the journey or the re-settling.
A joint response
With a full picture of the situation, stakeholders were able to jointly develop a response to the complex emergency and requested almost USD 250 million in funding for the emergency. To complement this, ACTED also developed a strategy to address the humanitarian needs both in displacement and upon return.
ACTED is distributing agricultural inputs (animal fodder, deworming kits, milking kits and vegetable packets) to in-camp and off-camp IDPs as well as host families in Kurram Agency with the support of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. These inputs will help families meet their food security needs in a dignified and culturally specific manner. Furthermore, ACTED is responding to the emergency needs of IDPs and host communities in terms of water, sanitation and non-food items with support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department. Additionally, in the coming months, ACTED intends to address additional water, sanitation, hygiene and environmental health needs in Peshawar, Nowshera and Kohat.
With the return process underway and continuing displacements imminent, the need for support to the conflict-affected populations in Pakistan continues. ACTED intends to continue being a source of key support to these communities in the coming months, guided throughout by systematic and timely assessments of their needs.
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