IOM Extends Return Assistance to Wider Group of Earthquake IDPs

Posted: 
05/08/06

In addition to providing return assistance
to families currently living in more than 150 planned camps, IOM
has started providing transportation to earthquake victims living
with relatives and to those living in small unplanned camps since
the disaster that killed more than 70,000 people last
October.

On daily basis, some 200 such families are
being medically screened and provided with transport facilities in
Mansehra district in North West Frontier Province. In the past
three weeks, more than 2,230 families have been taken home.

According to initial estimates, a large number
of unregistered internally displaced persons (IDPs), approximately
120,000 people, were living in camps of less than fifty tents and
with relatives. Many have gone to their homes on their own after
the government announced that quake-affected people would get money
for the reconstruction of their houses in their places of
origin.

Nevertheless, the number of IDPs in host
families and scattered camp settings is proving to be greater than
anticipated. With no data available, the process of finding and
later verifying such families before providing them transport is
also proving to be a real challenge.

"It is an exhaustive work because we have to
literally go to each house to verify the status of IDPs," said Mary
Giudice, head of IOM sub-office in Mansehra. "Through their
identity cards, we identify those who come from remote villages to
live with their relatives and who require assistance."

Working with the Pakistan government, UNOCHA
and local government leaders, IOM provides registration, medical
screening and transportation to families who return with one-month
food ration.

For further information, please contact please
contact:

Saleem Rehmat

IOM Pakistan

Tel: +92.300.856.5967

E-mail: "mailto:srehmat@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">srehmat@iom.int