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Resettlement drive: Rehabilitation of tribesmen ‘to end by December’

PESHAWAR: 

At least 90 per cent of the displaced persons in five tribal regions will return to their hometowns by December this year, officials of the regional disaster management agency said on Thursday.

However, the authorities concerned moved to de-notify as many as 60 villages in South and North Waziristan and Kurram agencies because of extreme cold weather.

Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) Director-General Khalid Khan told The Express Tribune that on an average, between 500 and 600 temporarily displaced persons were returning to their home areas every day and by December, almost all tribesmen would return to their native areas.

He said that on Thursday alone, 661 families had returned, of which 321 were from North Waziristan Agency, 214 from South Waziristan Agency and 126 were from the Orakzai Agency.

Pointing out that the voluntary return of as many as 310,729 temporarily displaced families was initiated in March last year, and the process was scheduled to be completed in four phases by December this year.

According to data compiled by FATA Disaster Management Authority, a total of 364,216 verified displaced persons had returned while 111,789 children had been inoculated against polio virus at various security check posts and camps.

As many as 63,942 displaced persons had so far returned to Khyber Agency, 38,328 to South Waziristan and 54,027 persons had returned to North Waziristan, 32,841 to Orakzai Agency and 28,427 to Kurram Agency and the remainder had returned to their native areas in Frontier Region Tank, Bajur and Mohmand agencies.

Since March last year, the number of post-National Action Plan returnees was 179,926 while 50,973 were de-registered.

Khalid Khan also said that all verified returning families had been provided Rs10,000 per family as transport cash assistance via their mobile phone SIMs and Rs25,000 per family through ATMs as return cash grants.

He said that World Food Program (WFP) had provided six-month food packages and Rs4,000 in cash to each verified family for four months as Child Wellness Grant.

Khan said that the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Unit in FATA secretariat was resettling returned people in their respective areas with the support of the UNDP.

He said that house assessment surveys were under way in all areas cleared by security forces and after the survey’s completion, the government would provide all returned families Rs400,000 for destroyed and Rs150,000 for partially damaged houses.

Referring to de-notified villages, Khan said that 40 villages in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, 16 in Kurram and 14 in Orakzai agencies were de-notified because of severe cold weather.

However, early in March, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the return of TDPs to their respective areas in FATA likely to be completed by December 2016.

Source: The Express Tribune

Byline: Asad Zia

November 18, 2016

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