Waziristan families promised winter aid
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): International organisations on Wednesday promised to assist refugees from Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region in southeastern Khost province.
The promise was made jointly by Swedish Ambassador in Kabul Peter Semneby, UN’s deputy special representative in Afghanistan Mark Bowden, UNHCR country representative Bo Schack during a visit to the refugee camp in the Gurbaz district.
Local officials accompanied the visiting delegation to the camp. The delegates held talks with the displaced families fleeing an ongoing operation in their areas by the Pakistani army against homegrown insurgents. The delegation promised continued assistance to elders from the refugee families at a gathering.
Bowden said they were trying to identify and resolve major problems being faced by the Waziristani families in Khost and neighbouring Paktika province.
He said besides other facilities, the families would be provided materials needed to keep warm their tents during winter.
He urged civil society groups and refugees in Khost to cooperate with them in delivering relief goods to all the uprooted families.
Bowden said he would be meeting President Ahmadzai next week to discuss with him permanent solution to problems facing the refugees and establishing schools for their children.
The Swedish envoy told the refugee elders that his country was working with other international organisations to mitigate their problems in Khost and Paktika.
Peter Semneby added Sweden as a staunch supporter of human rights and the UN had been generously assisting Afghanistan over the past decade.
The UNHCR official told Pajhwok Afghan News they were trying to convince international charity organisations into joining the UN in assisting the refugee families.
Bo Schack said most of the problems facing the refugees would be resolved ahead of winter by providing relief supplies seen essential to deal with biting cold.
During his talks with the visiting delegation, acting governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi put at more than 25,000 the number of Waziristani families in Khost, saying their situation was worrisome.
He thanked foreign organisations for their assistance with the displaced families and urged them to continue assisting them.
The refugees briefed the visiting delegation about major issues they faced and called for relief supplies to be delivered ahead of winter.
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