World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Most Pakistan Quake Survivors Now Home

With Most Pakistan Quake Survivors Now Home, UN Hands Tasks To Local Authorities

Now that hundreds of thousands of survivors of last October’s deadly earthquake in Pakistan have returned home from temporary camps, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today closed the offices in the region, handing over full responsibility for managing remaining relief camps to local authorities o΅ schedule.

“This was part of an overall framework for the transition of camp management responsibilities,” said Kilian Kleinschmidt, UNHCR's senior emergency coordinator. “From the outset, we had made it clear that our involvement would be until the end of the winter and that we would phase out as of September 1, 2006 in a responsible, tranῳparent and professional manner.

The offices were located in Mansehra in North West Frontier Province and in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. UNHCR will continue to provide advice to local authorities until the end of the year.

Since March, more than 140,000 quake survivors have left relief camps for home. About 36,000 people remain in 44 camps. In the months leading up to the handover, UNHCR upgraded services in the remaining camps and made provisions to ensure that basic services would continue.

While the refugee agency normally does not get involved in natural disasters, the enormous scale of the quake, as well as the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, represented exceptional cases.

The 8 October earthquake in the mountainous Kashmir region left more than 70,000 people dead and millions homeless. Immediately after the quake, UNHCR rushed thousands of tonnes of supplies from its emergency relief stockpiles to survivors.

At the height of the emergency operation, UNHCR had some 150 staff in Pakistan. It supported the local government in running 170 temporary relief camps and coordinated with UN agencies and non-governmental organisations to ensure basic services in the camps.

“You can measure the success of our activities by what was averted. There were no epidemics in the camps and few casualties over the course of winter,” Mr. Kleinschmidt observed.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news