30 July 2012
Hundreds of thousands of people in north-western Pakistan have been forced to flee their homes to avoid violent conflict.
Most of these internally displaced people (IDP) are living in absolute poverty with little or no access to food, water, shelter or health care.
As fighting continues, more people are expected to be forced away from their homes and livelihoods, and there is an urgent need for assistance to be provided.
Background to crisis
Since January 2012, the Pakistani government have accelerated their military operations against organised armed groups in Khyber Agency - an area in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region of Pakistan.
The violence has caused large-scale displacement across the region as people flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere.
The Peshawar valley and Jalozai camp (35km south east of Peshawar) are the primary destinations that people are fleeing to. However, most displaced people are choosing to live outside the camp with host families.
According to Christian Aid partner the Church World Service - Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) approximately 150,000 families in Khyber are currently displaced (675,000 individuals).
Problems facing displaced people
According to CWS-P/A who are supporting the displaced in Jalozai camp and host communities, the main issues facing IDP are:
Families cannot afford and do not have access to the quantity and quality of food they had before displacement. Many individuals are at extreme risk of malnutrition.
Currently the coolest daily temperatures are around 30°C peaking to over 45°C at midday.
Lack of clean water
This is causing a high number of cases of diarrhoea.
Illness in children
The average family size in Khyber Agency is eight. Therefore, the majority of the displaced population consists of children. They are living in poor, unhygienic living conditions and lack access to water.
Children are also suffering psychological trauma from the events they witnessed before displacement.
With the imminent monsoon season and a harsh winter ahead, further challenges are likely to affect IDP over the coming months.
Christian Aid's response
Christian Aid is releasing £80,000 to respond to this crisis.
Our Pakistan ACT Alliance partners (including CWS-P/A and Norwegian Church Aid) are carrying out the following activities:
distributing fans and water coolers
installing and repairing hand-pumps to give people access to safe drinking water
providing health care through mobile health units
delivering nutrition initiatives to locate and treat undernourished children and pregnant lactating women
distributing emergency items including mosquito nets, plastic mats, kitchen sets and hygiene kits.
Priority is being given to the most vulnerable groups (including women, orphans and elderly people) and to those who have not received assistance from any other source.
Pray with us
Please pray for the people of north-western Pakistan as they struggle to cope with this conflict, and for a speedy resolution.
Find out more:
News article: Military operation in Pakistan may displace 600,000 people
News article: IDP in need
Prayers: prayers for emergencies and conflict
Donate: emergencies fund
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