More than 240,000 people have been registered as displaced from Khyber Agency since January, says the Situation Report issued by Save the Children on Thursday.
The report says that the revised Humanitarian Operational Plan (HOP) for current IDP crisis is currently 45 per cent under-funded. The HOP covers all relief activities for IDPs while they are displaced, as well as support for their return back home. It is an inter-cluster plan that provides a holistic approach to meet outstanding humanitarian needs, factoring in anticipated shifts and changes throughout the year.
The total amount needed under the revised HOP is 307 million dollars. Only 139 million dollars (45 per cent) has been funded. According to the government, the displacement may last for six to nine months, however aid agencies predict this will be a protracted crisis lasting longer. The report says that continued funding shortfalls will result in severe constraints on the ability of humanitarian agencies to deliver lifesaving aid to the affected population.
The report further mentions that over 90 per cent of new IDPs are staying off camp, living in rented spaces or with host families. It suggests that it is imperative to assist the off camp IDPs, as very limited relief services are reaching them. As most IDPs are women and children who belong to a conservative culture; they are unwilling to live in camps and many are unable to access relief services. IDPs living with host communities say that they don’t expect to go home within the next twelve months.
According to Save the Children’s observation study, over 82 per cent of women reported a decrease in frequency of breastfeeding after displacement. Further efforts are required to ensure access to health services and nutrition support especially for IDP women and children.
The report mentions that access to basic services and facilities is challenging for the many vulnerable families who have been displaced. Local authorities have requested support from the humanitarian community to assist in meeting the unmet needs. The scope of this support includes reception and protection of new IDPs; support for large numbers of IDPs in camps and among host communities, managing returns and enabling re-settling populations inside FATA to re-establish their livelihoods and meet basic needs.
The report says that the government of Pakistan must ensure aid workers have continued access to conflict affected areas, and that the security of aid workers is prioritised. It says that work visas for international aid workers, including those from INGOs and UN agencies are being delayed causing increased administrative costs and inability to adequately support projects.
It mentions that proposed changes to INGO registration in Pakistan may also reduce aid agencies’ abilities to hire the most qualified staff and implement effective programmes. It analyses that overall, these increased challenges could lead to aid becoming less efficient and reaching fewer communities, which would ultimately delay Pakistan’s already slow development and urges the international community to advocate for reduced restrictions and the government’s increased support of aid agencies.