ICRC prepares for crisis in Pakistan

The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it is preparing itself for an intensifying humanitarian crisis in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province.

This content was published on May 7, 2009 minutes

The Swiss-run organisation said on Thursday there were reports of up to 500,000 Pakistanis displaced by the conflict in Dir, Buner and Swat between Taliban militants and Pakistani security forces.

"We can no longer reach the areas most affected by the fighting on account of the volatile situation," said Benno Kocher, who is running the ICRC's operations in the province from Peshawar.

"But we are aiming to return and meet the needs of the newly displaced population as soon as possible."

A statement from the organisation's Geneva headquarters said the ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society were preparing to provide 120,000 internally displaced people affected by the fighting with food and essential relief items.

The ICRC has reminded the conflicting parties to comply with international humanitarian law, in particular to take all feasible precautions to minimise civilian casualties.

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