ISLAMABAD:The Government of Japan today announced that it has disbursed US$16.21million in total to UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN-Habitat (the UN Human Settlements Programme), UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and World Food Programme (WFP) to support their efforts benefitting people who had fled their homes due to security operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Japan to Pakistan Mr. Takeshi Katae and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Dr. Jacqueline Badcock made the announcement at the WFP Islamabad office with UNDP Country Director Mr. Marc-Andre Franche, UN-Habitat Programme Manager Ms. Bella Evidente, UNHCR Deputy Representative Mr. Johann Siffointe, UNOCHA Head of Office Mr. George Khoury, WFP Country Representative Ms. Lola Castro. Captain (Retired) Mr. Tariq Hayat Khan, Joint Secretary of SAFRON also attended.
More than 91,000 families were displaced from North Waziristan in 2014 following military operations against armed militants, and they remain in need of humanitarian assistance and livelihood support. Since 2008, almost 5 million people from KP and FATA have been registered as displaced as a result of a series of security operations against militants. At the end of 2014, 1.6 million people remained displaced in KP and FATA. Humanitarian partners, including UN agencies and NGOs, support the Government to provide life-saving assistance for the displaced population and to support the voluntary return of the displaced people.
Mr. Katae stressed that the Government of Japan attaches high importance to supporting the stability of the region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan since it is critical to the stability of entire Pakistan and the neighbouring countries. Mr. Katae, expressing his appreciation for the cooperation of the United Nations and partners in delivering assistance to those in need, also conveyed his deep sympathy for the families who had had to leave their homes. He also emphasized the international community’s responsibility to support Afghan refugees, for whom Japan has been providing assistance since 2001.
Approximately $13.48 million (PKR1.37 billion) of today’s contribution is allocated to UNDP, UN Habitat, UNHCR and WFP to provide basic services and livelihood opportunities to those who fled their homes in FATA, to the hosting communities and to those returning home. In addition, approximately $2.73million (PKR277.66 million) is allocated to UNHCR to support Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
WFP will use $5 million to support 91,000 displaced families from North Waziristan Agency (NWA) and returnees. The grant will finance the costs for processing and distribution of about 16,408 metric tons of wheat which was provided in-kind by the Government of Pakistan. The contribution will also provide 1,400 metric tons of pulse and 718 metric tons of vegetable oil to families from NWA. It is expected that the cereals, pulse and oil to be provided will be sufficient for three months for these families.
UNHCR, which has received $1.7 million for the displaced people, will provide legal assistance to approximately 83,300 families and blankets, kitchen sets and other non-food items to 10,000 families from NWA. UNHCR will also use $2.73 million for providing health, education and legal services to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Approximately $2.75 million has been allocated to UNDP to provide technical assistance to the local government, create community networks, and provide livelihood opportunities through cash for work activities and skills training. This will increase the resilience both in the area of displacement and the area of origin following the people’s return.
UN-Habitat will receive$4.03 million to provide shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene assistance (WASH) to5,600 displaced families from NWA and 1,800 families returning to Tirrah Valley in Khyber Agency.
Dr. Badcock thanked the Government of Japan on behalf of the humanitarian community for their generous contribution, stating “This funding will provide critical support to address the humanitarian needs of some of the vulnerable populations. The four UN agencies – UNDP, UN Habitat, UNHCR and WFP – will work together to use these much needed funds to support the Government and the people of Pakistan.”
Additional Secretary of Pakistan’s Economic Assistance Division (EAD) Mr. Omar Hamid Khan announced the comment “Government of Pakistan deeply appreciates the invaluable support being provided by our partner and brotherly country of Japan which will go a long way in providing relief to the TDPs of FATA. Government of Pakistan is committed to providing all out support to the humanitarian crisis affecting that region and with the help of brotherly countries and partner development agencies is trying its best to cope with the situation. Once again, the efforts of the Government of Japan in helping our people in these troubled times are highly appreciated.”