‘Funding Crisis’ for IDPs

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Mon appealed to major donors for more funding saying Pakistan was at risk of a “spiraling secondary crisis” without more international aid. Relief groups in Pakistan will have to halt or cut humanitarian help to millions fleeing a military offensive in the northern Swat valley unless the worst aid funding crisis in a decade is resolved.

Nine aid agencies said they faced a shortfall in excess of 26 million pounds ($42 million), which was needed to provide food, medicine, tents and clothes to families uprooted by Pakistan’s campaign to oust Taliban militants from Swat.

The UN and its partners have so far received about only one quarter of the $543 million appeal launched in May to assist those affected. Because of the shortfall, food supplies are secure only for June while drugs supplies will be depleted by the end of the month. The lack of funding is hampering the world body’s ability to assist displaced persons.

“There could soon be serious breaks in the food pipeline; Current stocks of essential drugs will be depleted by the end of this month.I therefore appeal to the international community, especially major donors, to respond quickly and generously to Pakistan’s urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction needs,” Ban Ki Mon said.

Oxfam, which is 4 million pounds short of cash, said it would have to close an operation to assist 360,000 people if more money did not arrive by July.

“This is the worst funding crisis we’ve faced in over a decade for a major humanitarian emergency,” Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director.

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