Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, in cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), had completed execution of the final phase of its relief campaign for those affected in the Swat Valley through the provision of aids to hundreds of thousands of displaced people who left their homes after the events witnessed by the region more than a year ago.
The huge relief project, carried out by the Foundation in the Swat valley, included provision of food and medical aids, blankets, all the educational requirements, sewerage, social services and enhancing the protection of all the displaced, whether living in camps or in host communities.
In its final report presented to Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation on the occasion of the project completion, UNHCR pointed out that the support it received from the Foundation is the largest one obtained from a non-governmental humanitarian organization in the region over the last ten years, which will constitute a milestone in the course of humanitarian action in terms of both the great positive effects on refugees and the displaced persons and in terms of building and strengthening bilateral relations between Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and UNHCR at the regional and international levels.
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and UNHCR had signed on July 6, 2009 an agreement of cooperation and partnership under the title "project of support, assistance and enhancing the protection of refugees and displaced people in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan" within the framework of the continuing efforts of Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation aiming to build strategic partnerships and alliances with international organizations that have a long experience in the service of humanity around the world, and this agreement also comes within the framework of the leading humanitarian initiatives adopted by the Foundation in order to provide the elements of decent life for refugees and displaced people in Pakistan by launching its humanitarian initiatives to promote the development of the poor and needy communities.
The project, which was implemented under the agreement, included a number of activities aiming at providing emergency relief for the displaced persons through the distribution of food and other non-food aids and facilitating the voluntary return of refugees and their reintegration with their communities and fulfilling the requirements of protection and social welfare services for the displaced persons and returnees.
Immediately after receipt of the agreed funding from Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, UNHCR embarked upon implementing the first phase of the project, namely the distribution of non-food items to the displaced people, targeting about 384,000 families, equivalent to nearly 5.2 million of displaced people living in camps and host communities.
It's worth mentioning that the distribution of these non-food items had covered displaced people in host communities in the areas of Swat and Buner, Peshawar, Mardan and Sawabi and in all the camps the number of which amounts to twenty, and the most important of which are Jalozai, Jalala and Yar Hussein.
The non-food aids included 865,110 blankets; 328,880 covers; 248,630 water bowls; 80 sets of kitchen utensils; 497,500 bed sheets; 195,515 buckets; 60,000 kilograms of soap; 244,000 mosquito nets; and the number of beneficiaries of these aids reached 852,300 of displaced people.
To facilitate the lives of refugees and displaced persons Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, in cooperation with UNHCR took it upon itself to alleviate the suffering of displaced people in the holy month of Ramadan through the purchase and preparation of varied foodstuffs to meet the needs of 20,000 families or about 130,000 displaced people in camps and host communities.
Mir Ramadan included rice, sugar, salt, spices, flour, milk powder, tea and dates.
In addition to the emergency relief aids, there was cooperation between the Foundation and UNHCR to facilitate the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees following July 11, 2009 when the Government of Pakistan announced the establishment of security in the areas which saw heavy fighting that led to a major wave of displacement over the last months.
By the beginning of last September, and according to estimates by the Pakistani government, the number of displaced people returning to their villages and towns hit 234,526 families.
The activities included in the program of facilitating the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees represent a strategic importance in the program of both the Foundation and the UNHCR addressed to the benefit of refugees, where preparations are underway for project to meet the requirements of temporary housing for about 30,000 families whose houses had been destroyed in the areas of Swat, Buner and Vata. Each family will get a temporary shelter package containing bolts, metal sheets and wood joints to enable them to establish a small, temporary housing till gathering the displaced in the specific centers in order to return them to their original homes with the provision of protection services and monitoring, counseling, social care and education for them.
Antonio Guterres, UNHCR High Commissioner had visited Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation headquarters in Abu Dhabi one year ago and met with His Excellency Mohammed Hajji Al Khouri, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation General Manager. During that meeting, they discussed many topics to enhance the development projects executed by the Foundation to support and help refugees around the world and improve their humanitarian conditions and to meet their necessary requirements.
Guterres lauded the great efforts undertaken by the Foundation at the international humanitarian arena which encounters many challenges, saying that the Foundation had a prominent role in humanitarian work, which prompted the UNHCR to strengthen its partnership with it and work together to carry out projects promoting the level of services delivered to the refugees and the needy around the world.