UNHCR delivers shelter material to FDMA as IDPs head back home

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UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Indrika Ratwatte and Director General FATA FDMA Muhammad Khalid signing tents handover documents at the FATA Secretariat. Officials from TDP Secretariat are also present at the occasion. © UNHCR/S.Khan

PESHAWAR – The UN Refugee Agency on Wednesday handed over 4,000 tents, 8,000 plastic sheets and 4,000 core relief item kits to FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) aimed at supporting the government’s efforts to facilitate returns to South Waziristan and North Waziristan Agencies.

Most of Pakistan’s internally displaced people have returned to their homes in the tribal areas while some 49,000 families await their return.

The UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Indrika Ratwatte formally handed over the shelter materials to the Director General of FDMA, Muhammad Khalid and officials from TDP Secretariat at the FATA Secretariat.

“UNHCR always stood by the people of Pakistan in times of crisis,” Indrika Ratwatte said. Ratwatte noted that those going back had been displaced for years and their lives had been severely disrupted. “The much-needed shelter materials will provide the most needy people who are in dire need of shelter some relief until they are able to reconstruct their damaged houses,” he said.

UNHCR Representative also welcomed the government’s commitment to ensure the return of IDPs is carried out voluntarily and in safety and dignity.

UNHCR, as part of the wider United Nations response in Pakistan supports the Government of Pakistan with the return of the internally displaced people to areas in the country where the security situation has improved. UNHCR had supported the Pakistani communities throughout the period from displacement to return. From 2010 to 2016, UNHCR has provided USD 200 million to the IDP operations in Pakistan, primarily for shelter and non-food items, camp coordination and camp management and protection.

In 2016, UNHCR assisted the displaced population and 40,000 returnee families with emergency shelters and core relief items (CRIs) in FATA (Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai and South Waziristan and North Waziristan agencies).