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Displacement crisis in north-west Pakistan

Children who have fled the conflict in north-western Pakistan

4 June 2013

Since March 2013, around 89,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes in the Tirah Valley area of north-west Pakistan to avoid violent conflict between militant groups. Many have fled with just what they could carry and are now living in cramped, insecure and unsanitary conditions.

90% of those who have fled are living with host communities with little or no access to food, water, shelter or health care. As fighting continues, more people are expected to be forced away from their homes and livelihoods, and there is an urgent need for assistance to be provided.

Background to crisis 

Since January 2012, the Pakistani government have accelerated their military operations against organised armed groups in Khyber Agency - an area in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region of Pakistan. This has led to further violence and intertribal fighting in the area.

In total, almost 900,000 people have fled violence in the region causing large-scale displacement as people flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere.

Problems facing displaced people

The main issues facing the internally displaced people (IDP) are:


Families cannot afford and do not have access to the quantity and quality of food they had before displacement. Host families are willing to share their own limited food resources, but this is putting many more people at risk of hunger and malnutrition.

Lack of clean water

69% of those displaced do not have access to clean water. This is putting people at risk of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases.


Many people have arrived sick or injured, having had long, difficult journeys across mountainous areas. Their new, cramped and unhygienic living conditions increase the risk of diarrhoea, skin diseases and respiratory & urinary tract infections.


Many displaced people are suffering from severe psychological trauma having witnessed extremely violent, inhumane killings, including beheadings, prior to fleeing.

With summer approaching, the coolest daily temperatures are likely to be around 30°C peaking to over 45°C at midday. This extreme heat will cause further challenges to displaced families over the coming months.

Christian Aid's response

Christian Aid is releasing £50,000 to respond to this crisis through two ACT Alliance partners already working in the region.

• Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) will be working with their partner Social Efforts for Education & Development (SEED) to provide food packages and kitchen sets to 2,000 families. The food will provide up to 2,300 calories per person per day for 3 months.

• Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) will be working with their local partner Pakistan Village Development Program (PVDP) on water and hygiene projects which will reach 2,000 families. They plan to provide 200 hand-pumps, 400 flush latrines, and 2,000 hygiene kits as well as 100 hygiene sessions to explain the importance of practices such as hand washing to decrease the spread of disease.

Rather than working in the formal camps (where many other humanitarian organisations are already working) both CWS/P-A and NCA will be working with those living outside the camps with host families, many of whom will not have received assistance from any other source. They will target and reach the most vulnerable people including women, disabled people and children.

Pray with us

Please pray for the people of north-western Pakistan as they struggle to cope with this conflict, and for a speedy resolution.


Find out more:

News article: Military operation in Pakistan may displace 600,000 people

News article: IDP in need

Prayers: prayers for emergencies and conflict

Donate: emergencies fund  


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