UN assures Afghan DPs of all possible help
By Mohammed Riaz
PESHAWAR, Feb 17: United Nations Under Secretary Kenzo Oshima has said that the United Nations and the world community will do their best to help alleviate sufferings of all Afghan refugees living in refugee camps in Pakistan or other parts of Afghanistan.
Speaking to newsmen during his short visit to Jalozai refugee camp, some 30 kilometres Southeast of Peshawar here on Saturday, he said that the people and government of Pakistan had been generous and kind towards their Afghan brethren during the last two decades. He said Pakistan had borne the burden of a great number of refugees and helped the UN and its various agencies working for their settlement in camps.
Mr Oshima said that he had discussed with the Taliban government the settlement of refugees inside Afghanistan, as the Afghan people were ready to be settled in safer areas of their country. "We are discussing the matter and areas have yet to be identified," he added.
He said that Pakistan had its own constraints on the further settlement of refugees inside Pakistan, but the UN officials were happy over the co-operation extended by the Pakistan government.
Talking to newly arrived refugee women at a makeshift health unit, he said, "The UN and the world community will not forget them. The UN Secretary General has sent me to ascertain your conditions in these camps".
He visited various sections of the health unit and inquired about the health facilities being provided to the refugees. Over 300 patients were given treatment daily, a doctor told him.
The doctor told him about growing cases of pneumonia and chest infection which particularly affecting the new-born babies.
Some elders amongst the refugees apprised the UN official about common problems being faced by the new refugees. They said that they were short of food items, shelters and drinking water.
"We are daily supplied with one litre drinking water. We have no money to get food. If rains come, it will multiply our sufferings", they said. They also gave him a message for the UN Secretary General and asked him to do something for them. "We are proud people, but the war and drought has rendered us helpless and degraded."
Mr Oshima also visited makeshift tents of plastic sheeting and talked to the refugees.
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