UNITED SIKHS
December 29 2009
15 th Poh (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

Displaced Minorities in Pakistan Need Blankets and a Livelihood as Bitter Winter Sets In

"We have been assured by the Social Welfare department that these families will be registered as IDPs next month. But in the meantime, we have to cater for their winter needs," said Herdyal Singh, UNITED SIKHS Aid coordinator based in Peshawar.

29th Dec, 2009, Peshawar, Pakistan: Minorities who have taken shelter in Peshwar after escaping from the Taliban regime with only their ‘shirts on their backs’, feel the biting winter cold as night temperatures drop to -4C and they are in urgent need of blankets, warm clothes and a source of livelihood. UNITED SIKHS Aid project volunteers have rehabilitated nine of these families by helping them set up small businesses in the regions of Peshawar, Hassan Abdal, Rawalpindi and Nankana Sahib.  In all, there are 24 Sikh families who have been uprooted from the NWFP region and have still not received any government relief because they are not registered as IDPs. More families have been arriving lately in Peshawar, as Pakistan continues its military efforts against the Taliban and as cruel winter conditions leave them destitute in the mountains. These families have been affected by communal armed conflict in the Orakzai (Feroz Khel) and Khurram Agency (Sada) and need urgent assistance whilst UNITED SIKHS continues to pursue their registration as IDPs.

“We have been assured by the Social Welfare department that these families will be registered as IDPs next month. But in the meantime, we have to cater for their winter needs,” said Herdyal Singh, UNITED SIKHS Aid coordinator based in Peshawar.

The immediate need for blankets and warm clothes is acute as host families face extreme hardship. Please donate via paypal, cheque or a monthly recurrent donation at www.unitedsikhs.org/donate/

We will purchase the supplies in Pakistan.  We will need $1,000 USD to help set up each of the 15 families with a means for a livelihood.

As concern for displaced persons (IDPs) from the South Waziristan Khyber Agency and other agencies grows among humanitarian workers, last month UN agencies called for measures to ensure the security of all civilians caught in the conflict, including relief workers. “All those who are involved in the military operation in one way or the other should ensure human safety and security to aid organizations to reach out to the affected population,” Martin Mogwanja, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan, said in a joint press conference with the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme and other international organizations on 5 November, 2009. Further, Mogwanja said assistance would continue to IDPs whether they were from Malakand Division or South Waziristan or from other agencies.

As UNITED SIKHS is also a cluster member of UN agencies coordinating with the World Food Program, UNICEF and other cluster partner NGOs, we are currently working with local partners to assist the displaced. On 26 November 2009 a joint cluster meeting held in UN House Islamabad. Different International NGOs including UNITED SIKHS and World Food Programme (WFP) participated and discussed on many issues especially on safety and security.

You may read a previous press release on our Sikh Aid relief efforts for Pakistan IDPs at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-29-09-2009-00.htm

Issued by:
Herdyal Singh
UNITED SIKHS Aid coordinator, Pakistan
Email: sikhaid@unitedsikhs.org


 
Nine families Receive Help From UNITED SIKHS – 15 More Await Your help as None of Them Have Received any Govt Aid Yet. We will purchase the supplies in Pakistan.  We will need $1,000 USD to help set up each of the 15 families with a means for a livelihood.
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Bhagat Singh and his family of 8 members  fled the Orakzai Agency was helped last month by UNITED SIKHS to set up a small business in Rawalpindi. UNITED SIKHS volunteer from UK, Amardeep Singh with Bhagat Singh and family members.

Baba Harbhajan Singh with 15 family members had to leave with his family from Khurram Agency and is now taking refuge in Peshawar. He now runs a herbal and medicinal business set up with UNITED SIKHS’ help

Jaspal Singh who fled from the Orakzai Agency, with support from UNITED SIKHS, now owns a mobile shop in Peshawar. He has 2 children and because of the displacement, they have no schooling available.

Sardar Singh fled from the Orakzai Agency and now runs a mobile shop in Peshawar and has 3 children and are without any schooling

Sarbeel Singh who had to leave the Orakzai Agency has now opened a shop in Rawalpindi with UNITED SIKHS’ support. He lives with his family members in Panja Saheb, Hasanabdal. He has 5 children.

Charan Singh who fled from the Orakzai agency has opened a small general store in Nankana Sahib with cash assistance provided by UNITED SIKHS. He now lives with relatives in Nankana Sahib with his  6 family members.

Prim Singh left the Khurram Agency with his 9 family members in a hurry and now lives  with relatives in Nankana Sahib. He has opened a spice shop with cash assistance  received from UNITED SIKHS. He lives with relatives in Nankana Sahib.

Sai Singh belongs to the Orakzai Agency and has opened a mobile phone business in Peshawar with financial support received from UNITED SIKHS. He now lives in Peshawar with his 4 children.  

Darshan Singh fled from the Orakzai agency and has opened a mobile phone business in Peshawar with UNITED SIKHS’ support. He lives in Peshawar with his 8 family members. No formal education facility exists and his children attend the Sikh Khalsa School 

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Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

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