UN relief chief seeks more aid for refugees in Pakistan

UN relief chief seeks more aid for refugees in Pakistan

"While it is not the largest crisis in the world, needs in Pakistan are the most immediate of any crisis in the world. The upcoming monsoon season makes meeting those needs an even more urgent priority," said John Holms, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

"This will not be easy, and I fear it will be by no means perfect. But we must pull out all the stops to do as much as possible, as quickly as possible," he said.
Currently on a four-day visit to Pakistan, Holmes met the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi and General Nadeem Ahmed, head of the Special Support Group, as well as the humanitarian country team in Pakistan.

Over the next two days, Holmes will gain a first-hand impression of the humanitarian situation in the North-West Frontier Province through field visits to camps for internally displaced people, to host families and to spontaneous settlements of the displaced, UN spokeswoman, Michele Montas said.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said preparations continue in the displacement camps for the upcoming monsoon season, which is expected to start in mid-July. Its spokesman Ron Redmond said, depending on the intensity of the monsoon, some families may have to be relocated to other areas less prone to flooding.

Some 260,000 of the more than two million IDPs are in 21 camps, according to UNHCR.

The vast majority of the displaced are outside the camps, living with host families and in school buildings.

In a related development, UNHCR and United Arab Emirates on Monday signed a partnership agreement to support vital humanitarian operations in Pakistan.

According to the agreement, relief items like tents and blankets, will be procured to meet the needs of IDPs, mainly women and children, as well as facilitate the voluntary return of displaced people in the country's north-west, Montas said.

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