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Elizabeth Ferris, Co-Director, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement The Brookings Institution
This presentation was conducted at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA.
On September 1, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement hosted a discussion on the challenges the Pakistani government and the international community face in responding to the flooding. Panelists included Mark Ward of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the International Rescue Committee's Michael Young; Tim Lenderking of the U.S. Department of State; and Brookings experts Stephen P. Cohen and Gen.
The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan have faced considerable strife over the past decade as a result of the ongoing conflict and tribal tensions.
by ELIZABETH FERRIS(1)
BROOKINGS-BERN PROJECT ON INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT
PREPARED FOR CONFERENCE ON "PEACE
AND RECONCILIATION: EMBRACING THE DISPLACED"
7-10 JULY 2009
Once again the newspaper headlines report a massive displacement crisis. Images fill our television screens of people fleeing with their earthly belongings tied in bundles upon their back and of separated families, desperate to know the whereabouts of their relatives. This time the displaced are fleeing counter-insurgency campaigns in Pakistan. While I am not an expert on Pakistan, there are some lessons which have been painfully learned in other situations of large-scale displacement which may be applicable to planning an appropriate response.
Violence in northern Pakistan has forced millions of people to flee from their homes. Even with the dire living conditions of these displaced communities, there is a hidden opportunity in the midst of this crisis to improve the educational status of women and girls. Despite recent media attention, the fighting in northern Pakistan did not just begin recently, and by most accounts, it will not end soon. Starting in November 2008, fighting between the Pakistani government and Taliban militants has forcibly displaced an estimated 2.5 million people in the North West Frontier Province.
Almost a million Pakistanis have been displaced in the past 13 days by the government's counter-insurgency campaigns - in addition to the 500,000 or so who were displaced last fall by fighting in the north-west part of the country.
Afghanistan, Asia, Internal Displacement,
Central Asia, Migration
Khalid Koser, Nonresident Fellow, Foreign Policy
This is a critical moment for the United States' approach to global engagement. Concerns have been rising over an apparent imbalance in American statecraft, principally resulting from too heavy a reliance on the military. As such, the Obama Administration is launching related policy reviews. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has repeatedly noted "the decisive role" reconstruction, development and conflict prevention play, and he has called for greater resources for civilian agencies.
On April 9-10, 2009, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) and The Brookings- Bern Project on Internal Displacement co-convened a two-day workshop on "Protecting and Promoting Rights in Natural Disasters in South Asia: Prevention and Response" in Chennai, India.
Carlos Pascual, Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy