Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan 2008 - Floods and Internal Displacement
In August Pakistan suffered a series of overlapping crises that have led to substantial internal displacement and left hundreds of thousands in need of humanitarian assistance. These events have come at a time when Pakistan is reeling from the effects of the global food crisis, and have served to exacerbate an already precarious situation.
Unusually heavy monsoon rains and flash floods in early August affected over 300,000 people. Peshawar District in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Rajanpur District in Punjab Province were particularly badly affected. In addition, renewed fighting between the Government and militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in Swat District in NWFP caused significant internal displacement.
The conflict in FATA remains highly unpredictable. While a significant proportion of an estimated 260,000 people displaced by recent operations in Bajaur Agency are reported to have returned home following the announcement of a ceasefire, it is likely that the conflict in FATA and in Swat District in NWFP will escalate once more, causing new displacement. Additionally, whilst flood-affected communities have generally remained close to their homes even if currently living in temporary or makeshift shelters, those displaced by the conflict may have travelled much further and have been living in IDP camps or with host families.
The Government, UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and NGOs have been responding to needs using contingency stocks and stocks diverted from other programmes. The assistance of the donor community is now urgently needed to maintain the current response, to ensure that the humanitarian community can rapidly react to the extremely fluid situation on the ground in the coming months, and to provide humanitarian services and assistance to the most vulnerable among the flood-affected and conflict-displaced communities.
Working in close collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, and following best practices in humanitarian coordination, the IASC Country Team, under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator a.i., has prepared this coordinated Humanitarian Response Plan, seeking a total of US$ 55 million to cover the identified and estimated needs of a caseload of approximately 400,000 persons already affected by floods and conflict and needing immediate assistance over a period of six months. (The Central Emergency Response Fund has already committed $6.9 million to this appeal, leaving unmet requirements of $48 million.)
The Plan prioritises immediate life-saving and/or time-critical activities in food aid; nutrition; health; water, sanitation and hygiene; camp management, shelter and protection; the rapid restoration of agriculture-based livelihoods; and early recovery. Programming has also taken into account the volatility of the situation in FATA and in Swat District, and the need to prepare to respond rapidly to the possible further displacement of up to 400,000 people in the coming months, making an overall projected caseload of more than 800,000.
This Humanitarian Response Plan is the result of broad and inclusive consultations between United Nations organisations, government counterparts at the federal and provincial level, local and international NGOs and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Whilst the most acute phase of the flooding may have passed, the humanitarian situation remains critical. The complex emergency in FATA is volatile and unpredictable. This initial version of the Humanitarian Response Plan is thus a snapshot which will be revised in the coming weeks as the trajectory of the crisis and humanitarian needs become clearer.