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August 28, 2009

90 pc Swat IDPs back home


Web Desk
August 28, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Around 90 per cent displaced people, out of the total, due to the operation in Swat, have so far returned to their homes.

“Around 90% Swat displaced have returned back to their homes. The figure so far stand at 1.6 million out of total 2.3 million Internally Displaced Persons from different areas,” said Martin Mogwanja, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan.

“During past week, average 500 families returned to their homes daily. Earlier, the return rate was faster as 1400 families used to return every day,” Mogwanja informed media persons at a news conference.

He said as large number of IDPs has returned to their homes, now only 454 school buildings are under their use out of total 4700 school buildings. “All the rest buildings have been vacated by the IDPs and hopefully will be used for educational purposes with the start of the educational session.”

Revealing the findings of the recent mission to the Swat area, Mogwanja said, due to scattered attacks by the independent groups, still there are some security concerns. Secondly, he said, check points and barricades are causing significant delay in movement of IDPs and relief goods.

Thirdly, he said, early recovery activity for provision of basic facilities was urgently required as 600,000 IDPs were on their way back home. “They will also need basic facilities, infrastructure and livelihood. Four distribution hubs have been setup for providing them food and non-food items.”

“We ensure that all registered IDPs get their food share regularly,” he added. Adding to Mogwanja, the Country Representative WHO Khalif Bille Mohamud said, 25 health facilities partially and five were totally damaged during the operation.

He said after recovery five facilities out of these 25, have started functioning and mentioned to shortage of human resource, especially lady medical workers. “The posts for gynecologists and medical officers were lying vacant

and there was severe shortage of lady health workers,” he said.

Bille said, the WHO would impart training to more LHWs to meet the needs of vulnerable women and children. Answering a question, Mogwanja said, “Women and children are more vulnerable. We are focusing much on them in the areas of food, health and livelihood.”

“Though there is no specific project for them, we are specially focusing their needs,” he said. To a query, Bessler said, by mid October, the first plan for early recovery would be ready to cope with this situation.

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