PESHAWAR, July 5: The government has not accepted a request by United Nations about sending its mission to Kurram Agency to assess situation and begin humanitarian services in the wake of military operation in the tribal region, according to sources.
“The UN has requested the federal government to facilitate its access to Kurram Agency to assess the situation after military action and subsequent mass displacement,” sources said. They added that the request by UN had not been accepted by the government owing to security reasons.
The government launched a military operation in Kurram Agency On July 3. The action led to exodus from the area as so far 500 families have been registered in the lone camp, established to cope with displacement of people.
Sources said that government denied access to UN agencies as it could not assure them of foolproof security for their staffers in the conflict-hit Kurram.
“The UN is still waiting for security conditions to improve and start working there. The government cannot take risk by allowing the UN staff to visit the region,” they said.
The World Health Organisation had already dispatched an emergency medical kit to Fata Health Directorate. The kit is enough for treatment of 6,000 persons for one month. “We have also requested WHO to send one more emergency medical kit so that it can be supplied to New Durrani Camp in Kurram,” officials at Fata Health Directorate said.
They added that agency surgeon of Kurram had also sent a letter to the health directorate, requesting for human resources. They said that the agency surgeon had asked for more staff to cope with the situation in case the number of internally displaced people grew. The authorities in Kurram also needed ambulances to be utilised for transportation of patients from camp to health facilities, sources said. “The UN is ready to send medical supplies to the affected part of Kurram but it wants its mission to visit the area to assess the scale of displacement of people and fulfil their needs,” they added.
Officials said that the displaced people lost their belongings, livelihoods, schools, health units and businesses and specific concerns existed for chronically sick persons.
“Before launching work there, the UN security experts would visit Kurram to have firsthand information about law and order situation,” sources said, quoting United Nations officials.
The UN, they said, were sending more medical supplies after the government's response to its request for intervention. The global humanitarian agency, sources said, was concerned over massive scale displacement from Kurram and was insisting that government should facilitate its access to the area to extend humanitarian assistance to the people.
“We want to provide life saving humanitarian aid to help the civilian population which needs food, clean water, shelter, medicine and restoration of basic services immediately,” the UN told government, according to sources.
The UN mission, including representatives of WHO, UNHCR, Unicef and other organs, would visit Kurram Agency after government's permission. “At present the UN has been asked to stay away from Kurram owing to law and order situation,” sources said.