Over 200,000 people in Pakistan need urgent help: ICRC

August 23rd, 2008 - 8:31 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Aug 23 (Xinhua) Armed conflict on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan has left more than 200,000 displaced people in urgent need of assistance, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said. The conflict has intensified recently in Pakistan’s northwest Bajaur region and large numbers of civilians - mainly women and children - were forced to flee their homes, the Geneva-based humanitarian agency said in a statement Friday.

“Despite the efforts of local authorities and NGOs, these displaced people are in urgent need of basic necessities such as food, clean water and shelter,” the statement said.

ICRC said it had launched an initial aid operation to help 64,000 people forced to flee Bajaur.

And together with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, the ICRC has delivered medical supplies to the hospitals receiving the bulk of the injured, in and around the conflict-affected areas.

Pakistan has launched military operations against militants in the tribal region on the Afghan border, a known base for Al Qaida and Taliban forces.

In the statement, the ICRC reminded all those involved in the armed conflict of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law.

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