Mercy Corps responds to 'massive displacement' in Pakistan

Pakistan, May 8, 2009

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  <span class="field-credit">
    REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood, courtesy  </span>
    An internally displaced woman fleeing military operations sits with her children at a UN camp in Mardan, about 100 kilometers northwest of Pakistan's capital. An estimated half-million Pakistanis are fleeing the fighting between the Army and Taliban militants in the North West Frontier Province. Photo: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood, courtesy

Mercy Corps is dispatching a team to assist some of the estimated 500,000 Pakistanis who are fleeing their homes as a result of intensifying conflict between government forces and Taliban militants.

A "massive displacement" is underway in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, the UN says, with families pouring into camps carrying "little more than the clothes on their backs."

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The need for food, water and shelter are growing by the day. Up to 200,000 Pakistanis have fled their homes in recent days. Another 300,000 are expected to leave soon, swelling the number of displaced since last August to more than one million people.

Pakistan's prime minister has appealed for international assistance for the growing crisis. A Mercy Corps assessment team leaving Islamabad this weekend will determine where the needs are greatest and start helping immediately.

Mercy Corps has worked in Pakistan since 1986. Our 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 Kashmir earthquake.

Donate now to help us mount an effective emergency response in Pakistan and other crises around the world.