Pakistan’s government and international actors must ensure those in flood-devastated conflict zones are urgently granted the assistance they need to survive and to rebuild lives, without the military dictating rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
Pakistan: The Worsening IDP Crisis , a new briefing on internally displaced persons from the International Crisis Group, highlights how the country not only faces an unprecedented natural disaster, but also confronts the twin challenges of stabilising a fragile democratic transition and countering violent extremism. The civilian government, already tackling an insurgency, and its institutions, neglected during nine years of military rule, lack the capacity and means to provide sufficient food, shelter, health and sanitation without international assistance. But all sides must ensure community-based civil society groups, credible secular non-governmental organisations, and elected representatives lead the process.
“Given the scale of the needs, there may be a temptation among donors to circumvent civilian structures and work directly with the military to deliver aid, but this would be a dangerous choice”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “The military should certainly provide logistical support, but only under control of the civilian government and in support of the latter’s objectives”.
Pakistan’s civilian administrative and humanitarian apparatus is now severely tested by the worst flooding in the country’s history. One fifth of the country and more than 20 million people have been affected, exacerbating a displacement crisis in the conflict zones of north-western Pakistan. Some of worst damage is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the largest numbers of lives have been lost and where homes and infrastructure are devastated.
Read more here.