World Food Programme steps up supplies to Afghan refugees
ISLAMABAD, June 27 (AFP) - The World Food Programme (WFP) has begun the second phase of its campaign to feed more than 70,000 Afghan refugees living in a squalid camp in Jalozai, officials said Wednesday.
The WFP said food distributions would ease the situation in the overcrowded camp near the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.
"The distribution should meet most of the food needs in the camp for the coming four weeks and ease the situation, but we remain concerned about the poor conditions in Jalozai," said programme adviser Rehman Chowdhury.
Each of the 12,000 families in the camp would receive 50 kilogrammes (110 pounds) of wheat flour and 10 kilogrammes (22 pounds) of pulses, enough to meet their requirements for four weeks, the WFP said.
The UN agency has also been feeding around 66,000 newly-arrived Afghan refugees in the Shamshatoo and Akora Khattak camps in the North West Frontier Province, where refugees were in a relatively better condition, a WFP statement said.
Jalozai, dotted by series of plastic sheet camps on a treeless plain, has been the point of arrival for thousands of Afghans fleeing drought and war in their homeland since September.
Many have been moved to better equipped refugee camps nearby, but the local Pakistani authorities have refused to accept that any of the more recent arrivals are genuine refugees.
Pakistan has received more than 200,000 Afghans during the past 10 months in addition to more than 1.3 million Afghan refugees already present here.
Some 800,000 Afghans have fled their homes since mid-2000 due to the worst drought in memory and the civil war between the ruling Taliban militia and opposition forces.
WFP said it would be distributing more than 12,000 tonnes of food to the poorest refugees in Shamshatoo and Akora Khattak camps at a total cost of 4.87 million dollars this year.
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