MAG's work in the country includes training Pakistani non-governmental organisation SPADO to help protect vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas.
- MAG works with national partner to help flood victims
- 'Their situation is desperate' - teaching essential safety messages
North-western Pakistan suffers from residual contamination from the use of explosive weapons as a result of decades of armed violence in the area. The current security environment remains extremely volatile and is the cause of the small scale and cyclic population displacements seen in the region.
In 2009 the casualty statistics for accidents involving explosive weapons in Pakistan were amongst the highest in the world, with the Landmine Monitor recording 421 countrywide, 310 of which were in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in north-western Pakistan.
This demonstrates that the communities living in these areas, especially those that have been displaced, are at increased risk of death and injury, as a result of their limited knowledge and understanding of the scope and type of contamination.
A boy acts during a Risk Education session.
How MAG is helping
MAG began work in Pakistan in March 2010 following assessment missions carried out in late 2009. This identified a need for its expertise to contribute to the humanitarian response through the delivery of Risk Education to the communities in the north west of the country affected by the armed violence problem.
Risk Education is a crucial way of safeguarding the wellbeing of those at risk. It seeks to increase their awareness of the type and scope of contamination, and promote behavioural change amongst high-risk groups.
Working with Pakistani non-governmental organisation SPADO (Sustainable Peace and Development Organisation) MAG is delivering Risk Education to communities displaced from South Waziristan, Orakzai, Kurram agencies and their host communities in DI Khan, Tank, Kohat and Hangu districts.
In addition to this, MAG also responded to the new humanitarian situation caused by the severe flooding in July-August 2010, which saw unexploded ordnance shifted downstream to DI Khan, Tank and the surrounding areas. MAG extended its Risk Education sessions to include the communities affected by the flooding who were seeking refugee in these locations. MAG also signed an agreement with health NGO Global Medic to arrange for SPADO to distribute 1.5 million life-saving water purification tablets to hard-to-reach communities.
MAG is working to develop SPADO’s management, monitoring and implementation of Risk Education projects so that it is in a position to become the RE service provider in Pakistan in the long term.
MAG has extensive experience of this form of intervention, having carried out very similar projects in Lebanon in 2006, Iraq following the conflict in early 2009 and most recently in Sri Lanka following the cessation of hostilities in May 2009.
Children learn about dangerous areas at a Risk Education session.
Find out more
- Alertnet crisis briefing: Pakistan violence [external site]
- BBC country profile: Pakistan [external site]
- Landmine Monitor: Pakistan [external site]
- Reliefweb country profile: Pakistan [external site]
MAG thanks the following donor to its Pakistan operations: ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Aid).