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Posts tagged with: IDP

IDP Relief Drive from Karachi to Mardan – a Detailed Report

The IDP Relief Drive

Swat IDP Team of Volunteers

On May 15th, 2009, a good friend, renowned blogger and dentist Dr. Awab Alvi emailed his contacts for collecting and distributing relief goods to Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in N.W.F.P. Having prior experience of working with flood victims in Sindh and Balochistan with Indus Resource Centre (IRC), I jumped onto the opportunity of helping fellow Pakistanis displaced in the beautiful valleys up North.

I shared a list of family hampers with Awab, used by IRC for relief of flood victims. A single hamper comprises of a bag with food items and some utensils for one family, of an average six persons.
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Swat Relief: Call out for Doctors, Community health workers, Gynecologists & Nurses

A Severe Health Crisis:

There are 66,000 pregnant women living at the relief camps in Pakistan and many of them are likely to give birth in the next three months, the UN has said. Displaced children need special health and nutrition assistance as well as access to primary and emergency medical care to prevent disease. With the dire conditions, these people are living in there is a serious threat of an epidemic spreading in the camps.

Termed as the worst humanitarian crisis that Pakistan has experienced. UNHCR reports that there are 2.2 million people displaced. Conditions for the conflict areas are a cause of concern since access to water, electricity and health care is extremely limited. Fighting and a general lack of security have disrupted supply chains in Dir, Buner and Swat, making goods – food in particular – scarce and expensive. In addition, frequent curfews make it difficult for people to obtain whatever basic services do happen to be available in their towns and villages. In Mingora, for example, the Swat district’s main hospital is now abandoned and water and electricity have been cut off for over a week.
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Swat Relief Drive – Day 3 – Distribution Day

swat-relief-teamOur Swat Relief drive on Day 3 [Saturday] was hectic to say the least. We [Hasnain, Youshey, me & Faris] left Peshawar around 9am without breakfast, our aim was to start bright and early to first head to Bagheecha Deri where around 150 bags had been delivered a night before stored safely in Inam’s house.

Enroute we received news that the third truck from Makro Lahore was also reaching Mardan and it was then we decided to split our teams, Faris and I continued to Baghecha Deri whilst Youshey and Hasnain would escort the truck to our warehouse in Takht Bhai, oversee the offloading and prepare for the delivery of 250 hampers to refugee families housed within the Takht Bhai region.

Distribution at Bagheecha DeriDespite our insistence, Inam had not assembled a crowd at Bagheecha Deri as we arrived on location town and quickly requested a few local maluvis to announce the availability of relief aid. Within moments we had a small crowd, this being our first experience with distribution we had a small confusion, documentation was needed and we requested only those refugees with an ID card as well as the Yellow social services relief card. In the meley we were worried about locals falsely claiming to be refugees, which was tough but kept to a minimum to the extent that we had to bluntly refuse hampers to a few very vocal and insistent pathans. The other strategy we tried to deploy was to confiscate the ID card and the Yellow refugee registration card until our processing was complete after which a local would carefully distribute these to the rightful owners, this ploy was used to prevent duplication, though locals helping us would quickly identify the offender but there was a chance a sneaky IDP might get through the loop.
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Swat Relief – Day 3 Relief disbursement Pictures

Pictures from Day 3, Saturday 23rd May when we distributed our relief hampers across Mardan, commentary to follow.

War is welcome, IDPs aren’t

Guest Blog by Kazim Aizaz Alam

IDPs scrambling for foodViolence has gripped Karachi once again. People are scared and all markets are closed in major parts of Karachi as I write these lines. The MQM is up in arms against the Pakhtuns as its alleged goondas on Saturday burnt [*] a woman and a girl alive in an act of arson besides shooting (and killing) a man while he was driving a car. All mini buses (or Mazdas, as we call them) in the city are owned by Pakhtuns and they become ‘soft targets’ once the hooligans receive a go-ahead signal from their Markaz. This time round the ‘excuse’ for violence is that internally displaced persons are coming to Karachi.

Ironically the MQM is the most vocal supporter of the military operation in the Malakand division — yet it is sternly opposing the establishment of IDP camps in Karachi. The operation has already made over 2.5 million people homeless but the crusaders against Talibanisation can’t let go of their Mohajir chauvinism. Besides the MQM and Sindhi nationalist parties, the Punjab government too has said that it will not welcome any Swati refugees. The MQM first raised a hue and cry about inhumanities of the Taliban and called for an indiscriminate military operation in the populous region, and now when hundreds and thousands of people are helpless, homeless and penniless; all it could offer was a ‘grand’ cheque of one million rupees for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
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Swat Relief Drive Day 2 Pictures

I have uploaded over 180 pictures of our Swat Relief Drive day 2 – I have barely been able to filter / sort / label any of the images and can only promise to get them sorted out once I get back home so until then I leave you to marvel at how bad the refugee situation is

The pictures include images of our food hamper processing, images of those road side refugees that I mentioned in the previous write up, images of our trucks and relief hamper processing, images from the Jalala Camp where you will see abundant pictures of a truck getting ransacked

Best way to follow my progress is through twitter where I hope to post frequent short messages and an occasional images on twitter @DrAwab

Swat Relief Day 1 – Pictures

I share all the 90+pictures that I took on Day-1 of our Swat Relief Drive. It more or less includes the trip to Inam’s village Bagheecha Deri and his farm land in this remote corner of Mardan

Swat Relief Drive Payment & Reciept to Makro

To document the entire relief drive transactions for the sake of transparency here are the official makro receipt is as follows

Makro letter for swat relief

Swat Relief Update [Day 2 @ 9:00]

Its early morning, Faris arrived early at 5 am from Lahore and literally crashed out without speaking a word. Were up at 8 and are ready to head off to Mardan. Truck scenario is that two trucks were dispatched last night and will arrive very soon. Items totalling the delivery of one more truck await at Makro and we hope to have that also shipped out today to arrive in Mardan tomorrow.

First thing that we need to do today is to visit one or two more NGO’s and see their requirments once we establish our base camp we will then offload all our food items and start preparing individual family hampers and tomorrow be ready for distribution. The most arganized group for distribution is technically Jamaat Islami who have listed all refugees and have issued them ration cards, Bagheecha Deri has a decent distribution network and if we are to distibute there we might have to tap into JI’s network to ensure proper delivery. As usual these doantiona that we are disbursing are not under any political party so we will try to avoid such labelling, but lets see how things go.
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IDP Relief Update from Islamabad – 20th May

I am presently in Islamabad after having attended a very interactive brain storming session there were over ~30 NGO’s present. Even Ali Asghar of the Omar Asghar Foundation. In these round table meetings there is an abundant ‘talk talk talk’ but I was glad to note that these teams are doing a great job on the ground while the government is busily dragging its feet.

The National Disaster Alliance which was created during the Earthquake on 2005 seems to be sleeping and the hard work done to get that unit prepared seems to be gone in vain as these NGO’s were alarmed at the lackluster approach by the government in trying to manage this recent catastrophe

Due to my own inclination towards digital activism during times of crisis there was a remarkable eagerness displayed to adopt technology to implement them in the NGO’s and we hope initiate some project within a few days and hope to implement it across Pakistan

Relief Collection Drive, by the grace of Allah was an initiative that was started on the afternoon of the 15th has reached a total sum of roughly Rs. 27,00,000 [Rs. 2.7 Million] and it continues to grow even as I write this blog post, a testament that the people in Pakistan are genuinely the biggest donors despite the low GDP
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Swat Relief Collection Drive update

I must thank all our donors that our campaign is going strong, local personal efforts have pulled in a close to Rs. 1,300,000 equivalent to purchasing 430 relief hampers for the refugees in Swat & Mardan. Of the funds collected so far we have allocated Rs. 400,000 for medical items, details of which are being feverishly worked out. We also await the final concession by Makro on the relief package news of which will come early Monday after a decision from the top management expecting the cost of the hampers to drop to 2,500 – we will still continue our campaign at Rs. 3,000 so that the surplus can be used to acquire more hampers or aid. helping us reach the goal of collecting relief for 1200 families [7200 people]

All financial details will be kept public at http://cli.gs/idpack even during the trip, the costs incurred will be supported with full receipts and shared online so as to ensure full transparency of this noble effort to help our countrymen

The overall plan is to collect funds and deposit them to Makro, who in turn have promised to ship the goods from their warehouse in Lahore under our own custody.

I am tentatively scheduled to leave on Wednesday to Islamabad to attend a high-level meeting of NGO’s brainstorming on IDP relief and hope to contribute with ideas etc, from Islamabad I hope to reach Peshawar & Mardan on Thursday while some of our team members will be going to Lahore directly to physically take custody of the relief goods from Makro. My early arrival in Mardan will allow me to strategize on the best way to disperse off the goods to the rightful people avoiding a free for all snatch fest which was seen in Earthquake 2005

We are feverishly working with international NGO’s like PakSef to have online donations available for our international supporters those funds will be transfered directly to Makro and delivery will be made to our team in Lahore.

The other most essential items required for the IDP’s are tents which are priced at 11,500 each, if someone is anxious to contribute towards that cause please update us I am sure we can pool resources to maybe acquire a container full of tents ready for delivery in Mardan.

Running updates are available on my twitter account http://twitter.com/DrAwab while financial details are publicly available at http://cli.gs/idpack

NADRA charging Rs 50 for ID Card Verification from IDP’s in Swat

Translated by Noman Qadir courtesy of the Video posted on PakistanIDP

nadra-charging-50 form IDP in Swat and MardanNADRA is charging Rs.50 for folks who lost/misplaced or had their cards destroyed in the process of fleeing their homes. The provincial government, district government, civil society and individual citizens are doing all they can to feed, house and clothe these IDPs.

The federal government charges them Rs.50 for their Identification Cards. Call your MNA, Senator, Uncle, or Auntie, call anybody and everybody you can, and tell them how outrageous this is. NADRA should stick to making money on contracts from foreign governments (as it does when it mass produces machine readable passports for other countries). This software house financed by the taxpayer should not be charging IDPs for a document that is a human and constitutional right in Pakistan.

It is indeed a sad situation that the government has the audacity to charge anything so as to merely get verified and be able to get relief aid to feed their families – this is criminal

Update on Swat Relief Collection Drive

Just an update from the collection drive for the Swat relief where I plan to head out to Mardan on 18th or 19th.

I have talked to MAKRO and have negotiated a hamper of relief goods for one family at a rate of Rs. 3000. It is still being negotiated down and the lower it gets the more hampers we will be able to purchase. So for technicality purposes we are collecting cash either in Karachi or alternate locations in Lahore [to be decided]. if you want to contribute please coordinate SMS@ 0302-8273493.

I was initially planning to take the items from Karachi – but it with full cooperation from Makro I am able to have the hampers delivered in Lahore and from there we can take the 6 hour drive to Mardan, saving up tremendously on the transportation costs

The actual Worksheet which is still under negotiation and we hope to bring down the price can be seen here http://cli.gs/idpack

Medicines are being processed separately and if you want to participate in that fund then please call or SMS you commitment 0302-8273493

Courtesy of Fauzia Minallah plans are underway to in a way adopt a school in Mardan for our relief effort, a housing location that has not been looked after, there are supposedly 1200 families housed there and hence we must target a goal of 1200 hampers at the minimum [as of writing this post I am committed with cash in hand for Mashallah 250 hampers] – more updates soon along with assistance from SARelief.com for international collection under the 502(1)b and also a push to achieve the 1200 target

Collection Drive for IDP Relief team to Swat

UN estimates there are 980,000 people being displaced out of NWFP – there is tremendous suffering and a severe lack of funds and Volunteers.

IDP's scrambling for food in SWATFacebook Event – Collection / Donation appeal for IDP’s in SWAT
I plan to lead a team to the affected areas hopefully to depart from Karachi on the 18th of May 2009 to take the collected donation items personally into the region of Mardan and physically distribute the items only to the needy and suffering.

We are interested in anything that you can contribute. We are hoping to pre-pack the collected items into small handy packages so as to distribute items to each individual person. The small packages will help us avoid hoarders who made even the 2005 Earthquake a business.

Please Please do not donate old/expired stuff. Make sure edible items are hygienic and properly packed.
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Monitor the Swat Crisis via Live Blog

swat-banner1It has been for some time that the online community has found a great utility of monitoring events as they unfolding. We utilize the CoverItLive application which allows timestamped live updates while at the same time the application monitors twitter of the latest updates appearing there. Presenting the entire event in one concise framework. Our Friends at Teabreak have launched this Swat Crisis Live Blog – Its time that we all pitched in to help relieve the suffering of thousands of Internally Displaced People of Swat and the surrounding region – Live blog after the jump
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