Pakistan: Situation Report No. 15

Situation Report
Originally published


This report was issued by OCHA HQ with a coverage period from 20 to 26 August. The next report will be issued on or around 5 September 2009.


- Jean-Maurice Ripert of France has been appointed Special UN Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan.

- UN completed a high-level mission to Mingora in Swat District to assess the prevailing humanitarian situation.

- All 4,830 schools occupied by IDPs have been vacated and rehabilitation of schools has started.

II. Situation Overview

IDP Returns: According to the Government, as of 24 August, over 233,450 families of the 329,000 families registered and verified by the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Government as Internally Displaced People (IDPs), have returned to their places of origin. Over the last week, families have returned from camps, schools and host communities in the five districts of Nowshera, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda and Swabi to their areas of origin.

Of the approximately 4,680 families that returned last week, the majority - around 3,300 families - returned to Swat, followed by over 860 families to Lower Dir and approximately 520 families to Buner. Over the last two weeks, there has been an increase in the number of returning families to Lower Dir District.

Over the last reporting period, no new camps have closed. To date, 13 camps have closed and been decommissioned. Seventeen camps still exist across the NWFP.

Visit to Swat: The UN completed a high-level mission to Mingora, the main town of Swat District, to establish direct contact with the District Authorities and to get a first-hand impression of the current humanitarian situation. The mission was led by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), Mr Martin Mogwanja. The aim of the mission was to identify potential gaps and to strengthen the provision of humanitarian assistance. Over 1.1 million people were displaced from Swat District between April-June 2009, the majority of whom had moved to hosting districts in the NWFP. About 957,000 individuals (87 percent) have now returned to Swat District. The District Government and Line Departments are once again functional in Mingora. Civilian life has resumed with 80 percent of the schools reopened and 90 percent of the shops back in business.

The visiting mission identified food security, livelihoods recovery, health, education and the restoration of water supply schemes as priority areas for Swat District. Assessing the needs of the vulnerable groups among the returning population and those who stayed behind in the District is also essential in order to plan appropriate humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian actors, mainly NGOs, INGOs and the Red Cross/Red Crescent are operating in the District. With the increasing humanitarian presence, a coordination mechanism will have to be established in consultation with the District Authorities.

Appointment of a Special Envoy for Pakistan: The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has appointed Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France as Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan. The Special Envoy will assist the Government of Pakistan and the international community in responding to the present humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction needs relating to the country's displacement crisis.

Security: There had been no major change in the security situation over the reporting period. The overall security situation in Pakistan remains vulnerable and unpredictable. In major cities the authorities have taken extra security measures because of Ramadan by placing additional police guards at mosques to thwart terrorist attacks.

III. Humanitarian Needs and Response


Needs: The criteria for humanitarian assistance to IDPs should no longer be based on governmental registration but on assessed individual needs. A gender strategy should also be developed to ensure attention, accountability and increase gender equality from all clusters. Cluster leads and other members also have to raise gender equality and women's needs in their reporting and planning.

Response: On 19 August, UNHCR conducted a protection workshop for 28 participants from NGOs and INGOs at the UN House in Islamabad. The workshop aimed at sensitising participants on protection concerns and enhancing protection-related knowledge. The main topics of the workshop were an overview of protection issues and humanitarian principles, people with special needs, community-based approaches, monitoring, gender issues and registration.

The Gender Sub-Cluster in Peshawar has set up a working group to map out services and facilities on protection, livelihoods, health and education etc. that are available to women in every district and union council in areas of return.

During the reporting period, the ICRC1 facilitated 110 phone calls in Rangmala and Pitaw Camps in Malakand Division and Jalazai Camp in Nowshera District to re-establish family links.

Handicap International has begun operations in Swat and Buner Districts. Actions include protection and assistance to the disabled and other vulnerable people, and an emergency mine risk education campaign through the media.

Gaps/Challenges: Most of the current assessments do not identify gender disaggregated needs and views because the assessment methodology is not adequately gender-sensitive. Several rapid assessments of floods in Mardan and Swabi Districts have been carried out in the past two weeks, however, it is important that future assessments are more gender-balanced.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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