2017 IN REVIEW
In 2017, the Pakistan Humanitarian Strategic Plan focused on the returning displaced population, paying specific attention to vulnerable groups, and on the remaining 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Malnutrition among affected populations was prioritized, and the Humanitarian Country Team continued to strengthen preparedness for large-scale natural disasters.
With 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, Pakistan hosts one of the world’s largest protracted refugee populations. Many of these refugees have lived in the country for more than 37 years, resulting in second and third generations of Afghans being born into displacement in Pakistan. The demographic is particularly young, with children and youth (below 24 years) constituting 63 per cent of the total Afghan refugee population in the country. In addition to the registered Afghan refugees, the Government estimates there may be more than 700,000 undocumented Afghans in Pakistan.
Pakistan is prone to natural disasters including monsoon floods, earthquakes, cyclones and drought. Nearly every year in the monsoon season (July to September), flooding of major rivers displaces large numbers of people, and leads to a largescale loss of standing crops, and contamination of water sources. Flash floods in the mountainous north, tend to have a higher death toll and cause large-scale damage to infrastructure.
During this reporting period the key focus of Pakistan Humanitarian Pooled Fund was to support the humanitarian and protection needs of displaced population and those that have returned, ensuring a smooth transition to longer term recovery and development
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is one of the most-underdeveloped region of Pakistan. Its population has been affected by a protracted crisis since 2008, that has seen millions of individuals temporarily displaced. In 2015 security was stable enough to start large-scale return.
Returns continue to FATA, with over 440,000 families facilitated by the Government and humanitarian partners to return since 2010. Although the Government initially planned for all people to return by the end of 2016, conditions within FATA, including the difficulties of returns during winter, meant that 30,000 families remain displaced and are yet to return. There is also evidence of a substantial number of displaced people who are not registered for official assistance. Returns were accompanied by short-term assistance for relocation, resettlement, the revitalization of livelihoods and the economy, reconstruction of housing and infrastructure.
Humanitarian action to address time-sensitive needs in health, education, food security, protection and shelter, among other sectors, has provided vital support to returnees. Such support must be maintained through the transition period while the essential foundations for long-term development are laid, as envisioned in the Government’s 10-Year Socio-Economic Plan.
On 2 March 2017, the Federal Cabinet adopted a historic package of FATA Reforms. The most significant decision has been on the mainstreaming and integration of FATA with KP within a transition period of five years. This represents a new political compact for FATA and the border region, and an unprecedented extension of constitutional rights and governance structures to millions of the poorest people in Pakistan.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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