NRC has been active in Pakistan since 2001, providing protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons.
Humanitarian and political context:
Updated January 2014
Pakistan continues on-going armed and sectarian violence and conflict in the north-west part of the country. This has caused massive new displacements from Khyber and Kurram Agencies since the beginning of 2013. The number of IDPs has increased substantially with more than 25,000 newly displaced families from Tirah Valley (Khyber Agency) and Para Chamkani (Kurram Agency), raising the total number of IDPs families to 161,072 families as of December 2013.
Over the summer period, government authorities have focused their attention on returning IDPs, starting with residual caseloads to Bajaur, Mohmand, Orakzai, and South Waziristan in June and July 2013, followed by Para Chamkani (8,000 families). The returns to Tirah valley started from October 15th, 2013 and continued till November 5th and in the first phase 6,187 families voluntary returned to Tirah. The second phase of return will resume in spring 2014, when the harsh winter conditions in the mountainous Tirah will recede. NRC provided assistance to the Tirah returnees at the return point in Jerma, Kohat.
The Early Recovery Assistance Framework for FATA (ERAF), which seeks to improve conditions in the areas of return, remains unfunded to date, making it difficult to implement the much needed early recovery projects in the areas of return.
The government of Pakistan continues to host 1.6 million Afghan Refugees and an estimate of one million unregistered Afghans over the last three decades. It has recently adopted a new Repatriation and Management Policy for Afghan Refugees beyond 2013, in line with the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees.
NRC priorities for 2014 and beyond:
NRC Pakistan will continue to reach out to the most vulnerable groups in FATA, KP and Balochistan, where very few humanitarian agencies are working and the needs of the people are still unmet. NRC plans to increase its activities and programmes in South Waziristan and Kurram Agencies to help with the return process of vulnerable IDPs.
NRC Pakistan will also continue to consolidate its new country set up, strengthening and improving coordination between field offices and the country office in Islamabad, ensuring quality programming, accountability and transparency of the assistance provided to the affected communities.
One of the key focus for 2014 is to address the needs of returnees in a more holistic way, hence optimizing synergies between our core competencies. NRC Pakistan will continue to be an active member in various coordinating groups and platforms that focus on improving humanitarian response, assessing existing regional gaps from the field and addressing access issues to areas of operations.
NRC core activities in Pakistan:
NRC has worked in Pakistan since 2001, and is currently one of the largest INGO in KP and FATA. Despite the deteriorating security situation, NRC is among the few remaining key international organisations providing humanitarian assistance in Balochistan province. NRC has managed to gradually increase its presence, ensuring staff security by developing specific access strategies.
According to OCHA, by the end of 2013 4,1 million people are still in need in Pakistan. In order to meet the immediate humanitarian needs, prevent further displacement and contribute to durable solutions, NRC has scaled up its operations and through its core competencies, provided assistance to the total number of 727,925 beneficiaries assisted.
NRC encourages and actively involves displaced persons and host communities in the design, implementation and evaluation of its programme activities and also ensures equal access and identification of the particular needs of vulnerable men, women, boys and girls.
NRC programmes in Pakistan are focused on assisting Afghan refugees, IDPs, conflict and disaster affected communities and returnees. NRC Pakistan provides humanitarian assistance to displaced people through the following core competencies:
Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) and Social Services:
The main objective of ICLA services are to contribute to durable solutions for refugees and conflict affected displaced persons (IDPs and returnees) in KP, FATA and Balochistan through Information dissemination, counselling, legal assistance and trainings. ICLA services are offered in Nowshera, Charsadda, DI Khan, Kohat and Lower Dir districts in KP, Kurram, Bajaur Agencies in FATA and in Quetta district of Balochistan.
In order to enhance the capacity of relevant stakeholders, ICLA also provide training on human rights, Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), the Political Parties Act, peacebuilding, conflict resolution and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
NRC has also established grievance desks for returning IDPs of Jalozai camp, DI Khan, Kohat and Kurram Agency and assisted IDPs with ICLA services. In addition, ICLA has aslo establihsed Information points for IDPs and returnees. Currently NRC is the only INGO monitoring the return process of IDPs in FATA.
During 2013, NRC ICLA progarmme assisted 113,762 vulnerbale refugees and IDPs in FATA, KP and Balochistan.
The main objective of the education project is to provide quality and relevant educational opportunities in a safe learning environment to children and youth affected by displacment.
NRC’s Education Team is implementing an Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) through 97 established ALP Centres in Charsadda, Nowshera, Lower Dir and Quetta. The number of beneficiaries of the Education programme reached 3,160 learners in 2013, mainly flood and conflict affected IDPs, returnees and refugee children's between the ages of 9 to15 years, who had either limited or no access to schooling in KP, FATA and Balochistan. This year NRC also opened 12 new Dari language centres for Afghan refugee children in Quetta.
The Education Programme has been working closely with the Ministry of Education by providing Teaching and Learning Material (TLM) to conflict and flood affected schools in KP and FATA. Furthermore, NRC is also implementing a teacher training component for ALP teachers on different child-centered teaching methodologies.
In 2013 the education programme mainstreamed 1,507, out of 2,169 learners of its ALP programme into the formal primary school system, after successfully completing a 14 months education program in the NRC ALP centre’s in Nowshera and Lower Dir.
NRC’s shelter activities aim to enhance physical protection and promote the rights of displaced people by improving living conditions and seeking durable solutions.
The shelter programme is focusing on flood and conflict affected IDPs in KP, FATA and Balochistan. During 2013, NRC Pakistan built 2,682 permanent and community based shelters in Nowshera, Charsadda, Kohat, DI Khan, Kurram, South Wazirstan, Bajaur and Naseerabad.
NRC shelter Programme also incorporates, self-help and community based approaches to help construct shelters for the vulnerable affected families. NRC incorporate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) elements to enhance protection of the population against natural disasters. NRC field engineers and monitoring teams closely supervise the construction of shelters and other structures to ensure their quality and durability.
In addition to shelters, NRC also completed construction of one school which were fully or partially damaged during conflict and flooding, while the construction and rehabilitation of nine (9) additional schools are in progress.
NRC also distributed 72,808 Non Food Items (NFI) kits in KP, FATA and Balochistan, mainly for vulnerable families affected by the Mashkail earthquake in Balochistan, Para Chamkani, and to Tirah IDPs and returnees. Stocks are also maintained to respond to the sudden onset of emergencies.
Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Promotion (WASH) and Community Projects:
NRC Pakistan provides essential WASH services to the displaced population to improve access to water and sanitation facilities, to strengthen hygiene practices and to reduce the exposure and risk to WASH related diseases in the affected communities.
As a part of hygiene promotion activities, NRC had distributed 6,020 hygiene kits alongh with hygiene promotion sessions to vulnerable families on hand washing, water safty methods and importance and use of latrines and also formed WASH management committees in the targeted communities.
In this quarter, NRC has conducted 160 hygiene sessions that has benefited around 11,000 community members in Charsadda, Kohat and DI Khan district in KP and Bajaur, Kurram and South Wazirstan agencies in FATA.
During 2013, NRC Pakistan improved access to clean drinking water by providing communites with water infrastructures such as five gravity fed water supply schemes and rehabilitating of 10 tube-wells, the installation of 20 new tube-wells and 65 new hand-pumps. In order to protect the coummunity from seasog flooding, NRC is also contructing four flood protection walls in South Waziristan.
Food Security and Livelihood:
In order to improve food security and livelihood opportunities NRC’s food security and livelihood projects contribute toward improving access to food, to generate more sustainable livelihoods and to accelerate recovery and promote self-reliance for the conflict and flood affected population of Nowshera, Kohat, Peshawar, Hangue, and DI Khan district of KP Province and Kurram Agency in FATA.
The projects aim to assist around 350,000 individuals through livestock restocking, poultry distribution, agriculture tool-kits, kitchen gardening, cash for work activities, vocational trainings, conditional and unconditional cash grants, various training sessions on agriculture and animal husbandry and best management practices.
During 2013, NRC’s Food securtiy and livelihood programme distributed 800 goats, 51,000 poultry birds and assisted around 85,110 individuals in FATA and KP.
Protection and Coordination:
In NRC Pakistan, advocacy and protection activities remain focused on promoting the rights of refugees and IDPs in Pakistan and their access to assistance and protection. Our leading role in emergency response, our presence and often leadership position in working groups, clusters, and humanitarian meetings, provides room to advocate for more principled humanitarian assistance.