The Federal Foreign Office is increasing its aid for internally displaced persons in North-West Pakistan by 1 million euro. The funds will be distributed to German aid organizations. In particular, the money is to be used to help internally displaced persons who could not be sheltered in refugee camps. In addition to distributing basic necessities and hygiene items, providing medical care for the refugees will be a priority.
According to the UN, over two million people have now fled their homes in North-West Pakistan due to the hostilities between Pakistan Government troops and Taliban groups, joining the around 550,000 refugees expelled due to earlier fighting last August. The Swat Valley and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan have been particularly hard hit. Only 10% of the refugees could be sheltered in official refugee camps. The others are living in makeshift camps or with “host families”.
In recent weeks the Federal Foreign Office had already made 2.6 million euro available for humanitarian aid efforts being led by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and German aid organizations. The Federal Foreign Office's 2009 humanitarian aid to Pakistan thus totals 3.6 million euro to date.