International Medical Corps delivers medical and water and sanitation services to Pakistanis displaced from fighting

Los Angeles, Calif./Peshawar, Pakistan - International Medical Corps (IMC) is assisting the rising number of persons fleeing Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) because of intense fighting between the Pakistani security forces and anti-government militants. More than 190,000, mostly from Bajaur Agency, have relocated in neighboring Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), with numbers expected to rise, creating more potential for an even larger crisis. While many of the IDPs are living with local families in the region, an estimated 30,000 are expected to be living in displacement camps in poor conditions with very little food, water, shelter, and basic services.

International Medical Corps is providing medical services to the displaced in two camps in NWFP: Kacha Ghari near Peshawar and Palosa near Charsadda. The IMC teams, staffed with both male and female doctors, are administering primary health care, emergency medicines, maternal and child care, and basic health education. For more serious cases, IMC ambulances are transporting patients to local hospitals. Outside the displacement camps, an IMC medical unit is in Charsadda, reaching out to the displaced living with local families.

In just ten days, more than 1,000 displaced people have benefited from International Medical Corps health services. Another 35,000 are expected to benefit from IMC's water and sanitation initiatives, which will bring clean drinking water, waste management systems, and hygiene education to displacement camps.

"When the ceasefire was called for the month of Ramadan, many of the displaced started to move back to their homes in Bajaur only to find that the conflict continued," says Jehangir Ali Khan, International Medical Corps country director in Pakistan. "The intensity of the fighting has since increased, with rumors that the conflict is expected to expand into other areas of FATA, which would increase the number of displaced and the need for emergency services."

While the conflict is now centered in Bajaur clashes between Pakistani and militant forces are also affecting citizens in Waziristan and Baluchistan. Most of the displaced have fled to NWFP, but some have crossed the border into Afghanistan. In both countries, the oncoming winter will increase the severity of the crisis.

Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit our website at

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