Growing displacement crisis in Pakistan's North Waziristan region

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The number of people who have fled from their homes due to the current  offensive by Pakistan's military against Taliban fighters in North Waziristan continues to rise.

The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says that government registration figures show that more than 435,000 people have already escaped from fighting in the region.

A few days ago, the agency said that more than 6,000 refugees from Pakistan had been registered in Afghanistan. That figure has now risen to nearly 50,000.

Almost all of the refugees who are staying inside Pakistan's borders are being taken care of by host communities.

Dan McNorton is the UNHCR spokesperson:

"The government of Pakistan and our UN and humanitarian community partners currently expects up to half a million people could be displaced by the current military operations, bringing the total number of displaced people from the tribal regions of Pakistan to 1.5 million."

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme has begun to distribute food to people who have been displaced by the offensive in North Waziristan.

Distributions of rations for two weeks began on Sunday to around 300 families.

It's hoped that 1,500 families per day will be given supplies including wheat flour, pulses, oil, salt and high-energy biscuits.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'29"

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