UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations said on Friday that thousands of people displaced by the Pakistani military action in North Waziristan were in urgent need of help, and that it is contacting the authorities in Islamabad.

“The majority of displaced people urgently need access to adequate food, shelter and health care.” UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky told the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Although the Government of Pakistan has not requested international assistance so far, the (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is in contact with the authorities and is following the situation closely,” he told reporters.

The spokesman said that OCHA’s team in Afghanistan reports that more than 90 people have crossed from northern Pakistan into Afghanistan, while North Waziristan officials state that nearly 20,000 people, mostly women and children, have been displaced since Feb. 20 because of the military action in the area.  Some local non-governmental organisations are providing emergency aid including food supplies and medical assistance to those displaced, he added.


Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: A high level meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammad Shehzad Arbab on Friday and discussed arrangements for the displaced persons of FATA.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Home, Secretary Law and Order (FATA), DG PDMA, DG FDMA, Additional Secretary Finance and DC Bannu. The chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in his opening remarks threw light on the expected displacement of population from the area and highlighted the need for prompt and professional response to the challenge.

 Different aspects of the issue such as whether it was right time to establish camps, if so where and how many? availability of funds with PDMA/FDMA, registrations of IDPs etc came under discussion. After detailed deliberations, the following decisions were arrived at.

The home secretary along with secretary law  and order FATA should visit Bannu within two days to take holistic view of the situation and submit a comprehensive report. That some stocks be immediately dispatched to Bannu to meet the emergent needs of the IDPs. District administration be sensitised for making preparatory measures effectively to cope with the requirement of the occasion.

The FATA Secretariat should earmark funds for the purpose on priority basis. It was noted that right now no appeal for assistance lay with humanitarian community and local resources shall be used for managing the IDPs.

The PDMA was asked to play a leading role in tackling the situation by using its own resources as well as those of FDMA. The meeting further decided that procurement of non perishable items should started forthwith. It was left to the district administration to select suitable sites for establishing camps for the IDPs and take immediate necessary measures for establishing camps whenever the need arises.