Tens of thousands more people have fled their home region in North-West Pakistan due to the renewed hostilities between the Pakistan Government and armed groups. According to UNHCR, about one million people have been displaced. In addition to the Swat Valley, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan have been affected. The Pakistan Government and UNHCR expect a further rise in the number of internally displaced persons in the coming weeks.
During a telephone conversation with UNHCR staff in Pakistan, Special Representative Mützelburg expressed his great concern about the refugees' plight and pledged swift and uncomplicated assistance.
In the light of current developments, the Federal Foreign Office is providing German aid organizations with a further 600,000 euro from its humanitarian aid budget. These funds will be used to provide displaced persons in Mardan, Charsadda and Peshawar districts who could not be accommodated in refugee camps with the hygiene items and basic necessities they so urgently require.
The Federal Foreign Office has thus made available a total of 1.6 million euro for humanitarian relief measures in Pakistan in 2009, of which the International Committee of the Red Cross received one million euro at the beginning of the year. Since 2005 the Federal Foreign Office has provided more than 15.5 million euro for humanitarian assistance in Pakistan alone.