Pakistan: Humanitarian End of Year Review 2009

Situation Report
Originally published


This End of Year Review summarises the development of the displacement crisis in Pakistan during 2009, and highlights the main activities and projects that the humanitarian community implemented to respond to the humanitarian needs resulting from the crisis.

Major Developments in 2009

- In 2009, Pakistan experienced the worst internal displacement crisis of its history when up to 2.7 million individuals were forced to leave their homes in Malakand Division and FATA as a result of insecurity and hostilities.

- Thousands of Pakistani host families, the Federal, Provincial and District Government and the national and international humanitarian community provided food, shelter and other humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

- By the end of 2009, humanitarian assistance was still provided to 1.1 million IDPs, host families as well as to 1.6 million returnees.


Hostilities in Bajaur and Mohmand

In August 2008, major military operations to counter insurgencies and increasing influence of armed groups in Bajaur Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) sparked the first wave of internal displacement of civilians. This was followed by military operations in Mohmand Agency, also in FATA, leading to the further movement of civilians. By the end of April 2009, more than 550,000 civilians from those two Agencies were registered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The majority of the IDPs (463,000 individuals) lived with host communities, extended families or in rented accommodation. Around 93,000 lived in 11 camps in NWFP.

Renewed fighting in Bajaur Agency in October 2009 triggered another wave of displacement and forced more than 50,000 Bajaurees to flee, some of them for the second or even third time. At the end of December 2009, altogether more than 250,000 civilians from Bajaur (old and new caseload) and 180,000 from Mohmand were registered as IDPs in Lower Dir and Nowshera.

After the collapse of a peace deal in Swat

After the 16 February 2009 peace agreement between the Taliban and the Government collapsed in April 2009, military operations were launched in Lower Dir, Buner and Swat in NWFP. This prompted a sudden and massive movement of civilians to safer areas of the Province, in particular to the districts of the Peshawar valley (Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Charsadda, and Nowshera). The speed and scale of this population movement was unprecedented as around two million people were forced to flee over a very short period of time.

By the end of June 2009, the total number of IDPs from Malakand Division had reached its peak and 2.1 million civilians were registered in NWFP. Only about 15 percent, or over 250,000 IDPs, were living in the 35 IDP camps that had been established in the meantime, while the vast majority stayed with host families or in around 4,500 schools that provided temporary shelter. In July 2009, after the Government declared the Malakand Division again safe and secure, IDPs started returning to their homes and by the end of 2009, over 1.6 million people had returned to their places of origin. By December 2009, around 370,000 civilians from Malakand Division were still displaced and were either living in the 10 remaining camps in NWFP or with host families.

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