Chronicling Swat Relief

by Joshua Foust on 5/26/2009

Teeth Maestro, who runs a truly interesting blog about Pakistan, has been coordinating the relief to IDPs (such as it is) fleeing the fighting in Swat, Pakistan. On day 3 of the relief efforts:

Despite our insistence, Inam had not assembled a crowd at Bagheecha Deri as we arrived on location town and quickly requested a few local maluvis to announce the availability of relief aid. Within moments we had a small crowd, this being our first experience with distribution we had a small confusion, documentation was needed and we requested only those refugees with an ID card as well as the Yellow social services relief card. In the meley we were worried about locals falsely claiming to be refugees, which was tough but kept to a minimum to the extent that we had to bluntly refuse hampers to a few very vocal and insistent pathans. The other strategy we tried to deploy was to confiscate the ID card and the Yellow refugee registration card until our processing was complete after which a local would carefully distribute these to the rightful owners, this ploy was used to prevent duplication, though locals helping us would quickly identify the offender but there was a chance a sneaky IDP might get through the loop.

The challenge there remains enormous. TM has a widget on his right sidebar for contributing to the relief efforts, and has posted a photo gallery.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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