Camp preparations for unknown numbers
Over one million potential refugees are thought to be on the move in Afghanistan
29 September 2001
Pakistan - Although the major emphasis for MSF has been preparation for the expected influx of refugees, the work is difficult to gauge with a lack of information regarding when the refugees shall start to arrive or what numbers may actually be involved. Over one million refugees is the current estimate. International borders remain closed at the current time and so the refugee situation appears to be one of developing numbers waiting to cross into neighbouring countries. There are UNHCR plans for refugee sites in Pakistan that shall be established in the Tribal areas of the North West Frontier. Initial intentions are that the refugees shall be screened and given assistance at these camps for the first 24 hours and then transferred, by the UNHCR, to other camps where the same kind of assistance will be given. The exact locations and numbers of those sites are not known. However the aim is to establish 70-100 camps in the agencies of the Tribal Areas of the North Western Frontier Province, each camp having a capacity of 10,000 persons. MSF has currently ordered stocks to cater for up to 150,000 refugees for three months. These stocks are earmarked for new camps, and also for the ongoing activities in Kandahar - namely the Infectious diseases ward in the hospital.