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Refugee Camps (Pakistan)

Volume 401: debated on Wednesday 19 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the conditions of refugee camps in Pakistan. [102740]

UNHCR is running over 150 camps in Pakistan, housing approximately 1.5 million Afghan refugees. The camps provide health and education facilities, as well as basic shelter, water, sanitation and daily rations.Conditions are basic, but generally adequate. The camps are monitored by UNHCR and we receive periodic reports. Direct access to the camps is difficult, not least because of security considerations.We are aware of reports of higher than normal maternal mortality rates in the camps. Conditions for women and children are monitored by UNHCR Protection Officers, who have also dealt with cases of early and forced marriages, domestic violence and other problems faced by vulnerable refugees.