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Pakistan: Overseas Aid

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State (1) for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the ability of (a) his Department, (b) international agencies and (c) non-governmental organisations to provide aid to refugees in north west Pakistan in the current security situation; (277454)

(2) what humanitarian assistance his Department is providing to civilians in (a) the Swat Valley and (b) north west Pakistan.

Where internally displaced people (IDPs) have moved away from the areas where military action is ongoing, humanitarian aid agencies, including the United Nations (UN), the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC), and non-governmental organisations, are providing humanitarian aid. This includes those residing in 26 IDP camps and those registered IDPs who are staying with family or friends or are in rented accommodation.

However, insecurity continues to limit the ability of relief agencies to assess the needs and deliver aid to those who are cut off by the ongoing fighting. Mingora, the principal town of the Swat Valley, remains inaccessible. In other parts of Swat, Buner, Malakand and Lower Dir districts where military operations continue, agencies have been able to deliver only limited assistance.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has committed £22 million provide relief to those displaced by conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North West Frontier Province (NWFP), including from the Swat District of NWFP.