- Pakistan - refugees - Swat valley - Taliban - UNHCR
REUTERS - The United Nations refugee agency
UNHCR is airlifting tonnes of additional emergency supplies to
northwest Pakistan to help cope with the unfolding humanitarian
disaster there, UNHCR said on Monday.
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres
appealed for international support for the hundreds of thousands
of people displaced by fighting between the government and
Taliban in the Swat Valley.
The fighting has sparked a civilian exodus from the former
tourist destination. In recent days 360,000 people have left
their homes and in all about 500,000 are expected fo flee,
joining about 600,000 people displaced earlier from Swat and
other areas. [ID:nSP434983]
Guterres said many people were arriving with only what they
could carry on their backs.
"These are the same people who for decades showed great
generosity to millions of Afghan refugees," he said.
"Now it is time for the international community to show them
the same generosity by supporting humanitarian programmes for
the Pakistani displaced," the former Portuguese prime minister
said in a statement.
The agency is setting up three new refugee camps and helping
the Pakistan Red Crescent set up a fourth, and looking for
suitable sites for further camps. It is also working with the
authorities to expand the number of registration centres for
Guterres said in addition UNHCR would airlift 120 tonnes of
supplies from its stockpile in Dubai to Pakistan.