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The People of Pakistan Must Not be Forgotten in the Pakistan Debate

 

October 27, 2009

Minneapolis, MN — The American Refugee Committee–which assists more than 500,000 people in Pakistan–said today that the headlines about the turmoil in Pakistan have been missing a critical element:  the voices of people who are caught in the crossfire.

“The situation on the ground in Pakistan is complicated, and violence makes headlines daily—but there’s another story to tell:  the real human story which takes place in homes, in communities, and in refugee camps,” said Daniel Wordsworth, President of the American Refugee Committee.  “Our staff work on the ground each day to bring health care and other critical services to people for whom each day is a struggle for survival…people who are in desperate need.”

Life for people assisted by the American Refugee Committee is a challenge.  A refugee mother along the Afghan border is more than 60 times more likely to die in childbirth than a mother in the United States.  Clean water is hard to come by.  Few children are able to attend school, and health care services are limited.

The challenges are also particularly acute in parts of North West Frontier Province which were affected by violence this past summer.  “People have been reluctant to return home after the conflict in Swat due to security concerns.  Infrastructures have been decimated, and polio has been reintroduced,” added Wordsworth. 

Winter, which brings cold weather and heavy snow, is approaching.  This will also impact the rebuilding process.  ”Many lives are still at risk,” added Wordsworth.   “We’ll continue to do what we can to help the people of Pakistan survive and take back control of their lives.”

The people of Pakistan are in need of support, and the American Refugee Committee is taking donations to support its relief efforts at:  American Refugee Committee; 430 Oak Grove, Suite 204; Minneapolis, MN  55403; tel 612-872-7060 or at, www.ARCrelief.org .

ABOUT THE AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE:  The American Refugee Committee is a Minnesota-based humanitarian aid agency that works to help people take back control of their lives.  The partnerships we form with our constituents and supporters provide essential services and economic opportunities to people who have lost everything due to conflict and disaster.  Each year, the American Refugee Committee works with nearly 2.5 million people in Africa and Asia.  IN PAKISTAN:  The American Refugee Committee has operated relief programs in Pakistan since 2002.  The organization currently provides health care and other critical services to nearly 90,000 Afghan refugees along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border; more than 250,000 people affected by the 2005 Earthquake; and 300,000 people affected by the conflict this past summer in the North West Frontier Province.  For more information visit www.ARCrelief.org  .

Press contact: Therese Gales at (800) 875-7060. 

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