The forgotten: IDPs more vulnerable than ever

Most displaced persons living outside camp facing health issues, food insecurity.

News Desk May 09, 2012

Both government and humanitarian agencies have diverted their attention from people displaced by fighting in Khyber Agency since January, said a press release issued by Islamic Relief Pakistan (IRP) on Tuesday.

At a press conference in Islamabad, IRP Country Director Dr Fayaz Ahmad said some people fleeing to Peshawar and surrounding areas have taken refuge at Jalozai camp.

There are more than 208,000 individuals registered at the camp, according to a recent report by UNHCR, UN’s refugee agency. But this constitutes just 15% of the people estimated to be displaced.

The rest are living elsewhere, in rented houses or with relatives, for array of reasons linked to tradition, culture and perception of available resources, said Dr Fayaz.

He said the IRP found that a significant portion of these people are food insecure and vulnerable to health issues. Many of these people also need to travel many kilometres to gain access to healthcare facilities. Their problems are compounded by the presence of children and elders. Other households are headed by women, limiting their mobility due to cultural reasons.

Little but something

The relief organisation has initiated a project that will help about 4,000 of these people, said Dr Fayaz.

The project will focus primarily healthcare services, provision of medicines, psychological counselling sessions for families, construction of latrines for patients, provision of hygiene kits, among others.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.


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