Norway is increasing its humanitarian aid to an area in northwest Pakistan where thousands of families and many children have been driven from their homes due to the military operations.
“We are increasing our support, which will be channelled through the Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children Norway. These organisations are present on the ground and can provide emergency relief,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
Since January, Pakistani military operations against militant groups in the Khyber area have forced more than 250 000 people to flee to the neighbouring province Khyber Pakhtunkwa. Many are receiving help from the Norwegian Refugee Council, which is assisting the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the Jalozai camp near Peshawar. There are more than 50 000 displaced persons in this camp, but the vast majority, who have – for various reasons – chosen to live outside the camp, also need emergency aid to meet their basic needs.
“I am very pleased that the UN and the Pakistani authorities are coordinating the aid work effectively. Save the Children Norway is doing an important job in providing children with schooling even though they have had to flee from their homes. This is helping to maintain a sense of normality and give these children and their families hope for the future,” said Mr Støre.
Norway has allocated an additional NOK 18 million to alleviate the acute humanitarian crisis in northwest Pakistan. This is in addition to the NOK 50 million that has been allocated to humanitarian assistance in Pakistan for 2012.