Photo credit OCHA/Stacey Winston
Aid is running out for hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis who have been forced to flee their homes due to intensified fighting between the army and militants near the Afghan border, says the United Nations.
Almost 700,000 people from Pakistan's volatile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have flooded into the neighbouring districts of Nowshera and Peshawar since January due to military operations against the Pakistani Taliban.
The majority of the displaced are being given shelter by local communities and relatives, but hundreds of thousands are also seeking refuge in camps run by the U.N. such as Jalozai camp on the outskirts of Peshawar city.
Around 2,000 families are arriving at Jalozai every week, mostly from FATA's Khyber Agency, but also many from Kurram, Bajaur, Orakzai and South Waziristan - a semi-autonomous tribal region located along the porous border with Afghanistan, and a known base for militants.
But funds to support the hundreds of thousands of displaced with basic aid such as food, clean water and medicines are in short supply with few donors coming forward with money.
The U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA says it has only received 42 percent of the $314 million required, and is warning that aid is likely to run out by June, if donors do not respond to appeals by the U.N. and the Pakistani authorities.
Many people arriving at Jalozai camp have come with nothing. Most say they were given little warning ahead of the military operations, forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods without settling their affairs.
There is no clear indication of when the violence will end and when the displaced communities can return to their homes, but it is likely that it will not be safe for them to return for up to nine months if not longer, says OCHA.
Aid workers warn that conditions in camps like Jalozai are likely to get worse with the onset of summer in Pakistan.
Soaring temperatures and monsoon rains in cramped conditions with poor sanitation is likely to bring a range of diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and dengue which will pose a serious challenge for health workers.