Pakistan + 1 more

Pakistan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 37 | December 2015 - January 2016

Situation Report
Originally published
View original



  • Most remaining IDPs are expected to return to FATA in 2016.

  • With over 1.5 million remain- ing registered Afghan refu- gees, Pakistan constitutes the world’s largest protracted refugee situation.

  • Female-headed households have more dif culty access- ing assistance due to a lack of documentation and cultural restrictions.

  • Displacement and natural disasters compound already high rates of food insecurity in Pakistan.

  • Donor support to the PHPF increased from $4.9 million in 2014 to $10.2 million in 2015.

3.6 million individuals in need of humanitarian assistance in 2016

The capacity of Government authorities, security forces and national civil society organizations to respond to humanitarian disasters has improved signi cantly in recent years. There is also a strong international humanitarian presence in Pakistan. In 2016, the humanitarian community in Pakistan aims to support the Government in responding to the needs of 3.6 million people - 1.2 million registered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) currently in host areas (in addition to particularly vulnerable unregistered IDPs) and 0.6 million IDPs that have recently returned to the Federally Adminsitered Tribal Areas (FATA), 1.54 million registered Afghan refugees, and 0.2 million malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women in Sindh.

The focus of the humanitarian community in 2016 will be on the IDP response, which is expected to increasingly shift from camps and host communities to return areas, and on the remaining 1.54 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Most remaining IDPs - over 1 million - are expected to return to FATA in 2016. The humanitarian community will play a role in ensuring that these returns are safe, voluntary and digni ed. Concerted efforts are needed to nd lasting solutions for registered Afghan refugees and preserve asylum space. Malnutrition among disaster-affected populations will be prioritized and the Humanitarian Country Team will support Government preparedness activities and conduct contingency planning in order to respond in a timely and effective manner if assistance is requested. Protection and gender mainstreaming remain a priority across the humanitarian response.

Large-scale internal displacement and returns require support

Since 2008, more than 5 million people have been displaced from FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). These women, men, girls and boys ed their homes to escape insecurity and sectarian violence, or were requested to leave by the Government ahead of security operations. While many have returned, an estimated 1.22 million people were still displaced as of September 2015, including more than 18,400 living in IDP camps. Most IDPs live in informal settlements and host communities in neighbouring KP, where they lack adequate housing, sanitation, electricity supply, schools, hospitals and roads. There are also concerns about a lack of protection services, especially for vulnerable women, children and elderly or disabled IDPs.

Displaced families increasingly depend on less stable sources of income and selling assets, as they struggle to cope. Assessments indicate that an estimated one-third of IDPs do not have access to clean drinking water and two-thirds cannot afford to buy enough food to meet their basic needs. The displacement has placed a huge strain on already under-staffed and under-resourced health and education services.

Government plans to facilitate the return of all IDPs by the end of 2016

Between January and September 2015, the Government facilitated the return and de- registration of 600,000 IDPs including 127,000 women, 149,000 men, 149,000 girls and 175,000 boys. However, IDPs returning to FATA nd infrastructure severely damaged by the crisis and a lack of maintenance. In some areas, up to 80 per cent of houses have been damaged, as well as schools, health facilities, roads, and irrigation and water supply systems. An assessment of return areas in South Waziristan Agency in 2015 found that 56 per cent of houses were completely destroyed, and 44 per cent partially damaged. Initial assessments indicate that the shelter situation is worst in North and South Waziristan.

IDPs in hosting communities continue to place a severe strain on already under-staffed and under-resourced health systems. The caseload for healthcare facilities in some IDP hosting areas, such as Bannu, DI Khan and Peshawar, has more than doubled. Most health and education facilities in return areas are not functional. Those that are tend to be severely under-resourced or under-staffed with a near total absence of female doctors.

Children need access to safe, inclusive and quality education. The majority of IDP children (69 per cent) are not attending school, with higher rates in return areas. IDP and refugee children not attending school have an increased risk of child labour, early marriage and psychosocial problems.

Despite cash grants given by the Government, three in four people still did not have enough money to buy food and other necessities from the market. In addition, IDPs that have returned face considerable dif culties restarting agriculture-based livelihoods due to the unavailability of key inputs. An estimated 60 per cent of IDPs own agricultural land in FATA. When they return, IDPs nd elds that have been fallow, in many cases for several years. Most have lost their seeds, farming equipment and livestock during displacement, making it even more dif cult for them to restart agricultural activities. On average, IDPs in return areas can only produce enough to meet household needs for 3.5 months per year necessitating a need for long-term sustainable access to livelihoods.

An estimated 17 per cent of IDPs are not registered, with a higher rate among female- headed households, and do not receive monthly food packages, non-food items, cash for transport and other of cial assistance.

Over the course of 2016, the number of people in need is expected to decrease slowly with the transition to early recovery and development assistance for returned IDPs. It is expected that by the end of 2016, the vast majority of IDP interventions will be conducted in FATA. A failure to respond to the complex humanitarian crisis in Pakistan will have irreversible damage on the lives of some of the most vulnerable including IDPs that have recently returned to FATA and those that remain displaced, registered Afghan refugees, and acutely malnourished children and women.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit