Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron Economics'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French government crisis: 'Krankreich' not Frankreich

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank?

Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Liberia's president sacks ministers who left amid Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde put under formal investigation in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: France’s new ministers

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • The ‘war’ at the heart of France’s ruling party

    Read more

  • Burger King to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for $11 billion

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Red Cross 'gravely concerned' for Swat civilians

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-01

Senior officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross say they are "gravely concerned" over the humanitarian situation in Pakistan's Swat valley, where Pakistani forces have been battling Taliban militants for a month.

AFP - Senior Red Cross officials said Sunday they were "gravely concerned" over the humanitarian situation in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where the army has been fighting Taliban fighters for a month.

"The organization is gravely concerned about the plight of civilians in Swat and believes their situation demands a prompt and comprehensive humanitarian response," said a statement released from the ICRC's Geneva headquarters.

"The people of Swat need greater humanitarian protection and assistance immediately," said Pascal Cuttat, head of the organization's delegation in Pakistan.

"The ICRC will do its utmost to meet those needs without delay," he added.

"Given what we have already seen on the ground, we are mobilizing additional resources, but safe and unimpeded access to the area remains essential for our teams to deliver."

Aid workers had been alarmed at what they saw when they entered the region, said the statement.

"People have been blocked for weeks," said Daniel O'Malley, who led the IRCR team into the region.

"There is no running water, no electricity, and food is scarce," he added.

"There is no fuel left for generators and most medical facilities in the district are no longer functioning.

"Phone lines are down, so people have been cut off from the outside world and are anxious for contact with relatives who fled the area," he added.

Red Cross workers were also disturbed at conditions in Khwazakhela hospital, one of the few medical facilities left in Swat, said the statement.

"The handful of hospital staff left are struggling to work without any water, electricity or supplies," said O'Malley.

"They simply cannot cope with the influx of patients."

The Red Cross evacuated 14 patients from the hospital.

Pakistan's defence secretary said Sunday that fighting in the region could be over in a few days.

Swat valley's main town Mingora is back in government hands, the military announced late Saturday, and security officials said they were now pursuing the top leadership of the hardline Taliban movement into the nearby mountains.

Date created : 2009-05-31

COMMENT(S)