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Six lakhs Swat refugees return home

world Updated: Aug 01, 2009 10:36 IST
PTI
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More than six lakhs Swat refugees, displaced due to the Pak military action against the Taliban in the region, have now returned home, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

That leaves some 1.6 million people who have not yet returned from displacement and who will continue to require humanitarian assistance, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

"Also, even as people leave camps for the displaced, an additional 1,500 families have arrived at IDP camps in Jalozai and Familo since July 3," he said yesterday.

To assist the people who are returning to their homes, UNICEF has distributed 8,600 hygiene kits and 270,000 Aqua tabs, which can benefit approximately 60,000 returning persons, Haq said. Health agencies have already sent necessary medicines and supplies to the district of Buners and Swat.

They plan to support 14 public health facilities and four mobile clinics in Buners, he said.

As of 26 July, 1,167 schools out of a total of 4,739 schools that were occupied by IDPs have been vacated due to the rapid return of the displaced, Haq said. Schools being used as shelters must be repaired and equipped with new furniture and teaching and learning materials, he said.

According to OCHA getting all children back into learning environments, especially in time for the beginning of the new academic year, poses a massive challenge for Pak Government and humanitarian community.

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