Princess Haya urges donations for Pakistan

Press Releases, 25 June 2009

Dubai, United Arab Emirates Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussein has called for a massive international aid effort to assist hundreds of thousands of people recently uprooted by fighting in Pakistan's north-west region.

Describing the crisis in Pakistan as the largest humanitarian emergency in the world today, the UN Messenger of Peace and wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, urged the public to step up support for the operation by donating to UNHCR. Her message appeared in a public service announcement on television networks broadcast across the Middle East and elsewhere.

"Millions have been forced to leave, abandoning their homes, their communities and their loved ones," she said. "They arrive needing everything: shelter, food, and medical care."

UNHCR is seeking to ease congestion by expanding camps and providing solutions to host families. The UN refugee agency also wants to scale up assistance to people staying outside of camps and is procuring more relief items for IDPs and host families.

But the shortage of resources is already reducing the amount of shelter and other aide items reaching those in need. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has said that hundreds of millions of dollars will be needed for the overall relief effort to help the internally displaced and affected communities in Pakistan.

Established in 1950, the UN refugee agency protects the rights and well-being of refugees and others uprooted by conflict and persecution around the world. It ensures those fleeing violence are given access to life-saving assistance, as well as long-term support during exile and help with durable solutions so that they can rebuild their lives.

"Only with your help, can UNHCR revive hope, assist with shelter and meet other basic needs. Please help UNHCR," said Princess Haya.

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UNHCR country pages

Internally Displaced People

The internally displaced seek safety in other parts of their country, where they need help.

Pakistan Earthquake: A Race Against the Weather

With winter fast approaching and well over a million people reported homeless in quake-stricken Pakistan, UNHCR and its partners are speeding up the delivery and distribution of hundreds of tonnes of tents, blankets and other relief supplies from around the world.

In all, the NATO-UNHCR airlift, which began on 19 October, will deliver a total of 860 tonnes of supplies from our stockpiles in Iskenderun, Turkey. Separately, by 25 October, UNHCR-chartered aircraft had so far delivered 14 planeloads of supplies to Pakistan from the agency's stocks in Copenhagen, Dubai and Jordan.

On the ground, UNHCR is continuing to distribute aid supplies in the affected areas to help meet some of the massive needs of an estimated 3 million people.

Pakistan Earthquake: A Race Against the Weather

Pakistan Earthquake: The Initial Response

The UN refugee agency is providing hundreds of tonnes of urgently needed relief supplies for victims in northern Pakistan. UNHCR is sending family tents, hospital tents, plastic sheeting, mattresses, kitchen sets, blankets and other items from its global stockpiles. Within a few days of the earthquake, just as its substantial local stocks were all but exhausted, UNHCR began a series of major airlifts from its warehouses around the world, including those in Denmark, Dubai, Jordan and Turkey.

UNHCR does not normally respond to natural disasters, but it quickly joined the UN humanitarian effort because of the sheer scale of the destruction, because the quake affected thousands of Afghan refugees, and because the agency has been operational in Pakistan for more than two decades. North West Frontier Province (NWFP), one of the regions most severely affected by the quake, hosts 887,000 Afghan refugees in camps.

While refugees remain the main focus of UNHCR's concern, the agency is integrated into the coordinated UN emergency response to help quake victims.

Pakistan Earthquake: The Initial Response

Pakistan Earthquake: Major push to Bring in Aid before Winter

With the snow line dropping daily, the race to get relief supplies into remote mountain areas of Pakistani-administered Kashmir intensifies. In a major push to bring aid to the people in the Leepa Valley, heavy-lift Chinook helicopters from the British Royal Air force airlifted in 240 tonnes of UNHCR emergency supplies, including tents, plastic sheeting, stoves, and kitchen sets.

At lower elevations, UNHCR and its partners have dispatched emergency teams to camps to train members of the Pakistani military in site planning, camp management, winterization and the importance of water and sanitation – all crucial to containing disease during the long winter ahead.

By mid-November, UNHCR had provided a total of 19,356 tents, 152,325 blankets, 71,395 plastic sheets and tens of thousands of jerry cans, kitchen sets and other supplies. More of the agency's supplies are continuing to arrive in Pakistan on various airlifts, including a 103-flight joint NATO/UNHCR airlift from Turkey. Other UNHCR airlifts have brought in supplies from the agency's warehouses in Jordan, Dubai and Denmark.

Pakistan Earthquake: Major push to Bring in Aid before Winter

Pakistan: Returning HomePlay video

Pakistan: Returning Home

Since the beginning of November, UNHCR has been offering an enhanced package to every registered refugee in Pakistan choosing to go home to Afghanistan.
Pakistan: Helping the HostsPlay video

Pakistan: Helping the Hosts

Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in Pakistan's Balochistan province have access to schools and basic services, but the cost is not easy to bear.
Pakistan: Pushed to SafetyPlay video

Pakistan: Pushed to Safety

Thousands are forced to flee the fighting in Pakistan's Khyber Agency on the border with Afghanistan.