Aid distribution to Waziristan families begins
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): The process of distributing relief goods to around 1,000 families freshly arrived from Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region to southeastern Khost province has begun, a senior official said on Sunday.
The deputy Khost governor, Abdul Wahid Patan, while distributing the aid at a camp in the Gulan area of Gurbuz district, told Pajhwok Afghan News the assistance had been delivered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC).
He said the aid had come for 1000 families, with each family receiving goods with nearly 50,000 afghanis.
Patan said the aid included tents, mattresses, cooking oil, flour, rice, blankets and other food and non-food items.
“Around 3000 families have been accommodated in the Gulan camp and so far more than 1000 of them have been delivered aid and the rest will receive the assistance soon,” the deputy governor said.
Patan urged the international community to closely observer the situation of the displaced families and provide them what they needed.
An estimated 450,000 people have left North Waziristan since Islamabad launched a military offensive in mid-June targeting militants.
The displaced have headed into nearby areas as well as Afghanistan. Many have had to spend long hours in scorching heat and often without food and water.
There are also reports about mounting anger at problems with food distribution and fears that the civilian exodus could lead to the spread of the polio virus which is rampant in the region.
A UNHCR official at the camp told Pajhwok Afghan News they had started distributing relief goods to the displaced families. He said the displaced families from Waziristan living outside of the Gulan camp in Khost would also be provided assistance.
The Gurbuz district chief, Mohammad Akbar Zadran, said more families were preparing to arrive in the district from North Waziristan and these families were being registered by mobile teams.
He said some families faced harsh living condition and staying in the open. He urged aid giving agencies to intensify their efforts at assisting the displaced and host families.
One of the refugee at the Gulan camp, Mir Zaman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the families needed clean drinking water and food stuff due to the arrival of Ramadan and hot weather.
“We ate bread leftover from night meal with water in sahari (predawn meal) because we had nothing else to eat and we have nothing for iftari (breaking of the fast),” he said.
The Khost Governor’s House estimates at more than 20,000 families arriving from North Wazirstan and so far 3000 of them camped in various parts of the province have been assisted.
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