Almost half a million people have now fled their homes in North-West Pakistan due to the hostilities between the Pakistan Government and armed groups. The Swat Valley and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan have been particularly hard hit.
The Federal Foreign Office is making available an additional one million euro from its humanitarian aid budget to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to fund assistance and protection measures for these displaced persons.
The ICRC has the greatest access to the population affected. Together with the Pakistan Red Crescent, it is providing internally displaced persons with drinking water, food and essential supplies in order to enable them to live in dignity. The capacities of local hospitals are also being improved so that they are better able to treat injuries.
According to the United Nations, the number of internally displaced persons could rise further during 2009.
During the early stages of the conflict in 2008, the ICRC received one million euro for its humanitarian assistance. Since 2005 the Federal Foreign Office has provided more than 15 million euro for humanitarian assistance in Pakistan alone.