International development partners visit South Waziristan, FATA
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Secretariat and the United Nations jointly organized a mission of international development partners to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas today. The purpose of this visit was to provide international partners with the opportunity to interact with communities adversely affected by massive displacement due to insecurity, assess the situation in the crisis affected region, observe the restoration assistance efforts by the Government and UN partners and explore opportunities to further support the humanitarian assistance. More than 12 representatives from various donor countries visited the area and interacted with the communities in Kotkai, South Waziristan Agency.
At the request of the Government of Pakistan, the FATA Secretariat and the United Nations has prepared a Recovery Assistance Framework for FATA. The strategic objective is to help ensure the sustainable return of crisis affected people to their homes, and increase resilience of the local communities.
Due to insecurity, large-scale displacement of populations throughout FATA has led to millions of people at one time or another living in camps and spontaneous settlements. As of September 2013, 169,517 families have returned to their places of origin while 175,552 families are still living in camps or host communities.
These families, once they return, are faced with limited resources for rehabilitation and community restoration. This generates the need for a comprehensive and complete package as has been worked out in the Recovery Assistance Framework for FATA. This project focuses on the communities and the implementation strategy ensures that the civil society is strengthening communities, and re-establishing social cohesion. This will be initially implemented in the agencies of Khyber, Kurrum, Orakzai and South Waziristan. The Government of Pakistan has approved the first phase of the Early Recovery Assistance Framework for FATA with a budget of US$75 million this year to effectively respond to the recovery needs of the dislocated population of FATA.
Mr. Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, said that, “We need to focus on integrating recovery, peace and sustainable development in FATA. Long term solutions should be devised to minimize conflict and encourage stronger engagement with our partners to help the people of FATA build back in an effective manner.” Mr. Pakkala emphasized the importance of supporting both the humanitarian needs of one million people who remain displaced, as well as the returns, as an integrated approach.
The Director General, FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), Mr. Arshad Khan, said, “We have always appreciated the support rendered by our partners in meeting the needs of returnees and displaced people of FATA. More partnerships need to be encouraged to continue the existing support as well as to meet the emerging needs of this region.”
Mr. Marc André Franche, Country Director, UNDP in Pakistan said that “We are grateful to our partners for joining us in this opportunity to meet the crisis affected communities of FATA. Together with the Government of Pakistan, we are able to reinforce our commitment and efforts towards rebuilding and fostering resilience in the vulnerable communities.”
The international partners acknowledged the initiative taken by Government and UN in visiting the crisis affected areas and collaborating with the local communities.
For more information, Contact Fatimah Inayet, Communications Analyst, UNDP 0300-850 1893; 051-835 5650