Jalala relief camp swarming with IDPs

    Friday, 08 May, 2009

    PESHAWAR, May 7: The Jalala relief camp in Mardan district set up for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Buner, Dir and Swat districts has been overcrowded as long queues of migrants seeking accommodation and assistance are seen outside the camp.

    Provincial Relief Commissioner Jamil Amjad told this news agency that Jalala relief camp was overcrowded due to arrival of large number of IDPs from Buner and Swat districts.

    “We have issued directives to the authorities concerned to acquire more land adjacent to the camp to adjust the displaced people,” he said.

    He said around 69,000 displaced families arrived from Buner, Swat and Dir districts. He said that arrival of displaced people was gaining momentum with each passing day.

    The official said that around 60,000 displaced families were living outside relief camps while 9,000 to 12,000 were living in the camps.

    Two additional camps in Sheikh Shehzad and Jalala areas in Mardan and one in Yar Hussain area of Swabi district had been made operational to accommodate displaced persons, he said.

    Likewise, Shahmansoor Township and Hund in Swabi were identified for relief camps due to the ideal locations of those areas, he added. Cooked and dry food, biscuits and dry milks were being provided to the displaced people inside the camps, he said.

    Despite the limited financial resources, the relief commissioner said, Rs5 million each were released to DCOs of Charsadda, Mardan, Sawabi, Lower and Upper Dir, Buner and Swat while Rs1 million would be given to Shangla DCO.

    DONATED: All Clerks Association and All Teachers Association have announced to donate their one-day salary to Chief Minister Relief Fund, established for rehabilitation of internally displaced persons of Dir and Buner.

    They made the announcement in the presence of Provincial Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak, who was invited to the ceremony here in Government High School No 3 Peshawar Cantt.

    The office-bearers of both the associations also asked the minister to provide Rs5 million from Education Employees Fund to relief operations in troubled areas. They suggested formation of a special committee to monitor relief activities and urged the government to make a clear policy in this regard.

    Meanwhile, Ummah Welfare Trust on Thursday announced Rs10 million for IDPs of Buner district.

    Maulana Muhammad Idress, the chairman of the trust, told reporters that they had set up relief camps on Saleem road, Irrigation office Chota Lahor in Swabi district and Shahzad Town and Rustam Chargul in Mardan district where efforts were being made to provide urgent relief to IDPs. -- APP

    Our Peshawar Bureau adds: The NWFP Social Welfare Department in collaboration with UNHCR has registered more than 77,516 families (462528 individuals) as off camp IDPs in the 11 districts of the province.

    The provincial relief commission said that as many as 1,199 families including 8,649 persons were residing in six camps recently established for IDPs while 8,818 families consisting of 59,666 persons were living outside the camps with host families.

    On the other hand International Committee of the Red Cross has said that humanitarian crisis in the Frontier province is intensifying as up to 500,000 people have been displaced by the conflict in Dir, Buner and Swat.

    Although figures remain unverifiable at this stage, the committee said in a statement issued here Thursday that they could no longer reach the areas most affected by the fighting on account of the volatile situation.“But we are trying to return and meet the needs of the newly displaced population as soon as possible,” said Benno Kocher, who is running ICRC's operations in NWFP out of Peshawar.

    The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society are currently marshalling their resources to be able to provide 120,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) affected by the fighting with food and essential relief items.

    The ICRC also hopes to be able to provide basic heath care to about 30,000 displaced people.

    Original article can be viewed here.