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Mercy Corps sends emergency assessment team to Pakistan’s northwest frontier province

May 9, 2009

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Conflict between government forces and militants displace 500,000 people. Aid group dispatches team to determine best response to meet growing need.

Portland, OR – The global relief and development agency Mercy Corps has dispatched an emergency assessment team to Pakistan’s increasingly violent Northwest Frontier Province. The fighting has forced an estimated 500,000 people to flee their homes in what the United Nations is calling a “massive displacement.”

This flood of people into camps has created an urgent need for basic supplies such as food, water and shelter.

Mercy Corps’ three-member assessment team will be immediately deployed from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad to determine where the needs are greatest, and to start delivering emergency supplies as soon as possible.

“With the current fighting, the population of internally displaced people in Pakistan has grown to more than one million since last August,” says John Stephens, Mercy Corps senior program officer for South Asia. “Many left their homes with virtually nothing and are now in urgent need of assistance.”

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), up to 200,000 Pakistanis have fled their homes in recent days. Another 300,000 are on the move or expected to leave soon. Pakistan's prime minister has appealed for international assistance for the growing crisis.

Mercy Corps has worked in Pakistan since 1986. The agency’s efforts include supporting the fight against Pakistan's tuberculosis epidemic by providing treatment and training to hundreds of health clinics, improving the health of mothers and their newborns, and leading economic-recovery efforts in communities affected by the 2005 earthquake.

HOW TO HELP:

Mercy Corps
Emergency Response
Dept NR
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

www.mercycorps.org
1-800-852-2100