On October 17th, 2009 the Pakistani Army launched a military operation in South Waziristan, activities that resulted in communication lines in the conflict area remaining cut since that time. Thousands of inhabitants of the conflict-affected areas continue to flee to neighboring districts, with some taking refuge with friends and family in local communities. The UN reports that 100,000 new internally displaced people (IDPs) have reached Dera Ismail Khan and Tank in the southern area of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. More than 80,000 people had already taken refuge in these areas since May, displaced by smaller outbreaks of conflict, including some in North Waziristan.GRACE response
Members of GRACE report that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Waziristan can only sustain themselves for a short time with the very limited provisions that they have been able to carry with them. This calls for the implementation of urgent relief and assistance. Problems in meeting the basic needs of clean water, effective sanitation and other hygiene requirements are direct causes of major health crises. With the winter season setting in, shelter and heating have also joined this list of humanitarian concerns.
GRACE members in the camp areas are using their own resources in an attempt to help these internally-displaced persons. GRACE has extensive expertise in the areas of water supply, sanitation and hygiene as well as working with IDPs in conflict-affected areas. Dependent on the provision of external support, GRACE has the potential to mobilize hygiene kits, basic family non-food item kits and blankets for 5,000 families. In addition, GRACE hopes to provide safe drinking water to hundreds of IDPs through communal hand pumps, along with sanitation support through latrines, bathing areas and washing stations.
GRACE endeavours to empower and improve the quality of life of the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the least developed parts of Pakistan through welfare, participatory research and development, capacity building, promotion of best practices and partnership building, advocacy, and by launching sustainable and replicable innovative projects.