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22 Dec 2014 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Dec 22 2014 (IPS) - “Our children quitting school is the greatest pain we have suffered during our troublesome lives here,” says Multan Shah, a vegetable-seller in a shantytown of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of Pakistan’s four provinces.

22 Dec 2014 description
report Amnesty

Pakistan’s reported plans to execute 500 more people are “deeply disturbing” and would do nothing to protect civilians from the conflict with the Taliban, Amnesty International said today.

The reports come following the execution of six people in the past four days in the wake of the deadly Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar.

22 Dec 2014 description

Highlights

  • The price of staples remained stable in October with a nominal 1% decrease for wheat flour. The price of wheat remained unchanged.

  • The headline as well as food inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased by 5.8% and 5.2% respectively on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, while on a month-on-month (MoM) basis, headline inflation increased by 0.2% ; food inflation remained almost the same.

  • The government notified an average decrease of 2% in the price of high speed diesel and petrol in October.

22 Dec 2014 description

Context

Despite reasonable growth rates, the Asia Pacific region is home to 743 milliion people living on less than $1.25 per day, and 1.6 billion on less than $2 per day (40% of the population) (UNESCAP 2013). The core countries of the Asia Regional Programme are among those with the worst poverty rates in Asia (e.g. 76%, 60% 53% on less than $2 per day in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal respectively). The development challenges are complex and multidimensional – with significant economic, political, social and environmental drivers.

22 Dec 2014 description
report Human Rights Watch

Death Penalty Spree, Military Courts No Antidote to Atrocities

21 Dec 2014 description

Quetta, Pakistan | AFP | Sunday 12/21/2014 - 15:43 GMT

Authorities on Sunday found eight bullet riddled bodies in Pakistan's restive southwestern Baluchistan province, which is facing a tribal insurgency, sectarian violence and Taliban attacks, officials said.

Five bodies were recovered from the district of Pashin and three from that of Ziarat, provincial home secretary Akbar Durrani told AFP.

"We have found eight bodies today which are being brought to Quetta for identification and further investigation," Durrani said.

20 Dec 2014 description

Peshawar, Pakistan | AFP | Saturday 20/12/2014 - 09:53 GMT |

Seven people including a policeman and paramilitary soldier were killed in two separate incidents when Pakistani security forces hit militant hideouts in the restive northwest Saturday morning, officials said.

In the first incident, police and paramilitary soldiers raided suspected hideouts in Shabqadar, a town around 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Peshawar.

19 Dec 2014 description

When military operations began in North Waziristan in June this year, Noor Ayaz knew that he and his family had to leave their home in Pakistan for their own safety.

“There were thirteen of us, including children,” he said. “It took two days to come to Afghanistan ”.

19 Dec 2014 description

This piece originally appeared in The Express Tribune.

The internally displaced persons in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas have escaped the violence but are confronted with greater challenges.

“Home is a precious place. I would give anything to return to mine,” says 65-year-old Gul Bibi, as she gently rocks back and forth on a bed at the hospital set up by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Sadda, the second-largest town in Kurram Agency, FATA. The hospital is full of women who have babies and children in their arms or sleeping by their feet.

19 Dec 2014 description

QUETTA: Two more polio cases have been detected in Qila Abdullah and Nasirabad districts of Balochistan.

According to sources in the health department, 19 cases of the crippling disease have been reported so far this year from different parts of the province.

A polio vaccination campaign was suspended in Quetta on Nov 26 after a gun attack on polio workers in which four vaccinators, among them three women, lost their lives.

19 Dec 2014 description

KARACHI: Provincial health authorities on Wednesday confirmed another polio case in Sindh — a 10-month-old girl from Sanghar — bringing the tally to 28 cases this year.

Officials in the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI) in Sindh said Pooja, daughter of Umeedo of Sanghar district, was the latest victim whose stool samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad three weeks ago.

She is the second polio victim from Sanghar district. A 2-year-old boy was the first victim whose infection was confirmed in July.

19 Dec 2014 description

KARACHI: In the wake of below average rainfall in Thar in recent years, the Sindh government has planned a series of water, food and livestock projects under a strategy to end water shortfall in the drought-hit desert district, it emerged on Wednesday.

Officials in the Sindh government said the death of 311 children in the drought-hit Thar, spread over 22,000-kilometres, prompted the urgency to build a series of water reservoirs in the desert. In this regard, an ‘efficient water resource management’ project was ordered by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

19 Dec 2014 description

Aamir Yasin | Kashif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: While Islamabad police and Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) directed all school administrators on Wednesday to ensure security of students, there are over 50 schools in the federal capital which do not have boundary walls.

Following the attack on a school in Peshawar, FDE through an official letter told schools to deploy guards at the entrance gates and equip the guards with metal detectors to frisk visitors, keep gates closed and keep a record of private transporters who provide pick and drop service to students.

18 Dec 2014 description

D Suba Chandran
Director, IPCS

Can the Taliban become any further barbaric than this? Targeting a school, and killing more than 130 children?

18 Dec 2014 description

A low season planning meeting in Bhurban demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Pakistan to stopping polio transmission.

18 Dec 2014 description

Military operations (ongoing since June 2014) in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Pakistan have led to the displacement of thousands of people to surrounding districts in Paktika and Khost provinces in Afghanistan. As of 15 December 2014, 38,916 displaced families have been assessed.
Response has been ongoing since 18 June 2014

18 Dec 2014 description

HIGHLIGHTS

  • General inflation in the region continued to slow, falling to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent, while food price inflation was unchanged.

  • Nominal rice prices rose 7.7 percent in South Asia in October.

  • In Afghanistan retail prices for wheat and wheat flour fell by a respective 2 percent and 4.9 percent in expectation of an above-average harvest.

  • Rice prices in India rose 18 percent year-on-year.

18 Dec 2014 description
report CARE

Remembering the Tsunami: A Decade of Strengthening Humanitarian Response

Ten years ago, the global community faced what was one of the biggest tests of humanitarianism in recent history.

On Dec. 26, 2004, an earthquake rumbled off the coast of Indonesia, triggering a series of devastating tsunamis that struck 14 countries across the Indian Ocean. At least 228,000 people lost their lives and millions more were left homeless.