Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Refugee Crisis in Pakistan

Another 200,000 have fled Swat fighting, says UNHCR
By Sajid Gondal, Dawn, May 09, 2009

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Friday that people in large numbers had fled their homes because of widespread clashes between government forces and militants.

The UN agency said in a statement the people were taking advantage of a partial lifting of curfew to move to safe areas.

The UNHCR estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 people had arrived in safe areas of the NWFP over the last few days with another 300,000 on the move or about to move.

Those fleeing the latest escalation of hostilities in Lower Dir, Buner and Swat join another 555,000 had left their homes in Fata and the NWFP since August last year and were registered by the UN agency.

The vast majority of the earlier arrivals, more than 462,000, have been staying in rented accommodation or with families.

It said that another 93,000 were staying in 11 camps supported by the agency, other UN humanitarian agencies, non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Refugees flee Pakistani Swat region - NoCommentTV

On a related note - given that Pakistan and Afghanistan are now handled together as one unit, the "Af-Pak", in Barack Obama's war:

Scores dead after US strike in Afghanistan - 06 May 09 - AlJazeera

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