June 2 2009

SOS Children's Villages provides shelter for Pakistan refugees

02/06/2009 - The violence in Northwest Pakistan has displaced an estimated two million civilians; thousands more are expected to become refugees. The majority of the victims are children, their prospects for the immediate future far from bright. In cooperation with government authorities, SOS Children's Villages is preparing to accommodate some of the refugees.

Right from the very start of the conflict, SOS Children's Villages Pakistan has been in contact with government authorities and NGOs in the area, and has offered to accommodate any identified orphans. The government of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFD) and its Emergency Response Unit have now asked SOS Children's Villages Pakistan to assist in organizing a shelter for women and children using government funds. 

After detailed discussions with the Emergency Response Unit and the government of NWFP it has been decided that, with their collaboration, an SOS Emergency Shelter for IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) will be established in Peshawar. A building has been identified and is being renovated. 

At the outset, the shelter will admit up to 100 children and widows. If required, accommodation for more can be provided at a later stage. Services will include shelter, food, clothing, medical attention and psychological counseling. Schooling for the children will be arranged as feasible.

The shelter is expected to be ready within the next few days, even though a time frame has yet to be decided on, since it is impossible at present to foresee how long the conflict will continue and when people can return home. Long term planning will be necessary for orphans.