Rs330m, 4,500 tons of relief goods distributed among IDPs

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday received a report on the IDPs, stating that the federal government had distributed Rs329.568 million and around 4,500 tons of relief goods among the affected families with the assistance of the Pakistan Army and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The report said Rs329.568 million had been distributed among the IDPs as financial support and around 4,500 tons of relief goods among 31,000 families.

The detailed situation report submitted to the prime minister amid serious complaints about provision of necessary relief to the affected people didn’t give an idea what the number of people who have been settled in the camps established by the government and their livestock, the main source of their livelihood, was.

The report referred to the establishment of some veterinary facilities but no detail has been given about the much-needed fodders for the livestock. Highly-placed sources told The News that Prime Minister Nawaz isn’t happy with the figures and is seeking further details about the facilities being provided to the people. The prime minister may visit the camps yet another time soon to examine the situation personally and meanwhile he is dispatching some ministers for expression of the government’s solidarity with the affected people.

Prime Minister Nawaz explicitly asked the authorities last week to treat the IDPs as respectable guests of the nation as he ‘treats them as his personal guests.’ According to official sources of the Prime Minister’s House, Nawaz Sharif, who returned to the federal capital a few hours ago, asked for details about the facilities being arranged for the IDPs and a detailed status report from all coordination and implementation organisations providing relief to the Waziristan IDPs, which was submitted to him.

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The report suggested that so far 572,529 people, belonging to 44,633 families, had been registered as IDPs as a result of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, which started on June 15th. About 5,000 food packages, weighing 110-kg each, are being distributed every day through 11 food distribution points among the affected people. Non-food items have also been distributed among 31,000 IDPs families.

Cash disbursement is taking place by the civil officials and incidentally number of complaints has been surfaced about the amount that is being paid. In his maiden visit to the relief camps, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that as first installment Rs40,000 will be given to every family but reportedly less money has been disbursed in several cases. It has been officially announced that each registered IDP family will get compensation amount through Zong Mobile SIMs under a transparent mechanism from tomorrow (July 8th).

This has been done to ensure quick relief to IDPs besides bringing more transparency in distribution of money. Beneficiaries would be allowed to collect their money from mobile franchises, retailers and banks.

Round the clock provision of electricity in IDP camps has been ensured. Temporary mosques have been built to facilitate the families living in camps and medical facilities including doctors and medicines, especially treatment of sun stroke, cramps in legs and polio vaccination, have been made available for them.

Steady supply of clean drinking water has also been ensured. Pakistan Army has also established 33 points across the country for collection of donation from the general public. The Finance Ministry has released Rs1.5 billion so far for providing relief to the IDPs. The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet has recently approved 60,000 tons of wheat costing Rs2.8 billion for distribution among the IDPs.

Rescue 1122 has provided three state-of-the-art ambulances along with necessary staff for assistance of displaced persons in emergencies. 15 mobile veterinary clinics have been established in Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Karak and Tank in which more than 20,000 animals belonging to the IDPs have been treated while more than 42,000 animals have so far been vaccinated, the report added.

It has been revealed that international assistance for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who had to leave their homes in the wake of military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) to weed out terrorists is disappointing.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United States are the only two countries that have so far come forward with help.The UAE government has released an assistance of $20.5 million for the IDPs on humanitarian grounds, while the US has extended an assistance of $31 million.

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