Overview of Displacement, Returns and Most Pressing Needs:
There are currently over 178,000 registered displaced families in KP/FATA, a majority of whom are from North Waziristan and South Waziristan Agency.
Regarding returns, the total number of families who signed a Voluntary Return Form (VRF) is over 125,000. Of this number, 17% are families headed by a female. It shall be noted, however, that even though people signed a VRF, this does not mean that they have actually returned to their places of origin.
Some of the most pressing protection needs of IDPs and returnees include equitable access to humanitarian assistance and basic services, civil documentation/legal assistance, psychosocial support, re-establishing social support networks, specialized assistance and protective spaces for children, women, older people and persons with disabilities.
The Protection Cluster:
Leadership, Membership, and Partnerships
UNHCR as the coordinator of the Protection Cluster in KP/FATA, brings in the Agency’s protection expertise and long-standing experience with displacement issues. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is the cluster co-lead while the P/FDMA are active members and participants of the cluster.
The Protection Cluster comprises of the Child Protection (CP) Sub-Cluster led by UNICEF, and the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Cluster led by UNFPA. The Youth Resource Centre (YRC) chairs the Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support Task Force (MHPSS) while Help Age International is representing the Ageing and Disability Task Force (ADTF). In addition, IOM’s Humanitarian communications team (HCOMMS) provides information regarding return processes, assistance packages, civil documentation, food distribution and mine risk education.
The cluster established a Protection Working Group (PWG) in Bannu in 2015. The PWG is meeting on a monthly basis and protection concerns are addressed at the local level. Cluster members CERD and EHSAR are alternately chairing the meeting with support from the protection cluster.
The cluster coordinator is assisted by a Steering Committee consisting of the coordinators of the two sub-clusters and task forces. Responsibilities of the Steering Committee include, among others, to facilitate the development of a strategy to deal with emergencies as they occur, assessments, technical inputs to humanitarian documents, assistance and the development of advocacy messages and to set performance standards and indicators for protection work with vulnerable groups.
Partnerships within the Cluster have been open and inclusive allowing protection actors with divergent capacity, geographical presence and interests to prioritise activities based on the Strategic Response Plan 2016, while taking into account KP/FATA specific issues.