News

    Thousands of Pakistanis Flee Fighting in Northwest

    Men line up with their wheelbarrows to transport supplies for families displaced by military operations last year against militants in Bara, at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees-supported Jalozai camp in Pakistan's northwest, April 11, 2012.
    Men line up with their wheelbarrows to transport supplies for families displaced by military operations last year against militants in Bara, at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees-supported Jalozai camp in Pakistan's northwest, April 11, 2012.
    Ayaz Gul

    International aid agencies say Pakistan’s counter-insurgency operations in a northwestern tribal district have forced thousands of families to flee the region. United Nations officials are warning that the number of internally displaced persons is growing by the day, and they say more funds are needed from international donors to help those affected.

    Pakistani security forces have frequently conducted major operations to try and secure the country’s porous western border with Afghanistan, a known hub of Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

    The latest battleground is the Khyber tribal district, which serves as a main trade route and supply line to NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan.

    The head of the United Nations refugee agency’s operations in northwestern Pakistan, Ahmed Warsame, said that more than 200,000 people have fled the fighting since January. He said while an estimated 10 percent of the refugees have been accommodated at the Jalozai refugee camp just outside Peshawar, the rest have gone to neighboring towns to stay with family members.

    “It’s a huge undertaking for us. Jalozai has increased its size four times as much as it was four weeks ago. We are currently registering some 2,000 families a day, and that has been fairly stable since March 17. Fifty-two to 53 percent of the population is women and children, and also elderly people,” said Warsame.

    Pakistani authorities believe the flow of displaced people will continue for another six months. The UNHCR and other international aid agencies warn they will not be able to continue humanitarian assistance without additional financial resources from the international community.

    Faris Qaism, a spokesman for Save the Children, said the conflict is severely affecting children.

    “What we found is that many of these children are suffering from the psycho-social issues. This means that they are exhibiting behavioral changes - they have loss of appetite, some are scared to even go outside because they have witnessed firings or bombings in their areas," said Qaism.

    Pakistan’s nearly decade-long war against home-grown Taliban extremists has triggered suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks around the country, killing thousands of people. The deadly violence, however, has relatively subsided during the past year.

    Authorities say that a series of violent militant attacks at the beginning of the year in and around the northwestern city of Peshawar, which borders the Khyber tribal region, has prompted the ongoing offensive. A turf war between extremist groups in Khyber also is being blamed for the exodus of displaced people.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora