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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs