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Donor funding “still hesitant”

While families continue to stream south from the conflict in Swat, northern Pakistan, some are already attempting to return to attend to their crops
(Tariq Saeed/IRIN)

Senior UN humanitarian officials in Pakistan have urged donors to provide more funds to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

"We launched an appeal two weeks ago [on 22 May] for US$543 million. We are trying to accommodate all the needs and concerns of the displaced, but the funding is still hesitant," Manuel Bessler, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Pakistan, told IRIN in Islamabad.

"Since that time [22 May], we have only received an additional 8 percent [US$45 million] of the total requested amount. Agencies have warned that if more funds are not made available soon, essential services could be disrupted as early as the end of this month," UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan Martin Mogwanja told IRIN.

OCHA's Bessler said that if the funding shortfall continued “this will not allow us to maintain our operations much longer... Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people will not get food, water and health services they actually need."

According to OCHA's most recent report, two million people have been displaced by fighting in NWFP.

Highlights of OCHA update,

5 June 2009
displacement from Lower Dir, Swat and Buner is occurring as curfews
have been lifted to allow civilians who remain in the areas to leave.
The District Department of Education reported that 60 percent of schools in Swat District are completely destroyed.

There are 100,000 people in 2,000 spontaneous camps with urgent needs in water and sanitation.
funding situation remains very dire with only 25% coverage of the
Humanitarian Response Plan. Without fresh contributions, humanitarian
response operations will seriously be hampered.
Source: OCHA

The health cluster had received 7 percent, and the water, sanitation and hygiene cluster 16 percent of the available funding.

"Food-wise we hear from our food cluster colleagues that they should be fine until the end of the month, but if there is no further money coming in this would then be very difficult to continue. It is even more difficult in the water and sanitation cluster; they are running out of funds even earlier," Bessler said.

"Projects in the food sector of the Humanitarian Response Plan, which is based on a planning figure of 1.5 million IDPs, are currently only 46 percent resourced. There will be serious breaks in the food pipeline for pulses, salt, sugar, high energy biscuits and ready-to-use supplementary food," OCHA said.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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