"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
UNITED SIKHS Aid coordinator, Pakistan