ISLAMABAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun providing monthly food rations to families returning home to Pakistan’s tribal areas following the recent upsurge in fighting in the country’s North West Frontier Province. More than two million people have been displaced by the conflict and small numbers are only just beginning to return to their villages.
“WFP is providing a lifeline to those who have been forced to abandon their homes due to heavy fighting,” said WFP Pakistan Country Representative Wolfgang Herbinger. “We began feeding them at the start of this crisis when they fled their villages, and for those who feel ready to go back to their homes, we’re providing the assistance they need to bring stability back to their lives.”
Food rations for those returning to their homes are being distributed at a humanitarian hub in Bajaur where WFP has pre-positioned enough supplies to feed 2,000 families. Distributions are being closely co-ordinated with local authorities and are being distributed through a local partner non-governmental organization.
While WFP is gearing up its programme to meet the needs of the returnees, its food assistance operation remains focused primarily on the needs of the vast majority who are still living in camps or host communities away from their home villages. Since the start of the crisis, food assistance and other aid has been delivered through a network of humanitarian hubs that have been established close to the areas where the largest number of people have been displaced.
WFP is currently reaching 100,000 beneficiaries every day through 35 humanitarian hubs and 10 distribution points within camps. Since the beginning of June it has provided food rations to approximately 1.5 million people. The agency has sufficient supplies for the next two months despite a 51% funding shortfall in its US$162 million emergency operation in Pakistan.
For more information, please contact:
Dumeetha Luthra, WFP/Islamabad, Cell. + 92 300 8523048