The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan have faced considerable strife over the past decade as a result of the ongoing conflict and tribal tensions. Hundreds of thousands of each country’s citizens have been displaced, while the legal framework to protect them is weak and the humanitarian aid to assist them is insufficient.
On May 5, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement hosted a discussion on the current situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the cross-border and regional dynamics of the two countries. Sidney Traynham of Church World Service addressed current challenges to assistance and protection of IDPs, including the lack of funding for the United Nations’s Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan, while his colleague Wajahat Latif offered an analysis of the political context and factors influencing the humanitarian situation in both countries. Robert Lankenau and Jehangir Ali Khan from International Medical Corps (IMC) discussed IDPs in Afghanistan and Pakistan and detailed the work that IMC is doing on the ground. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-Bern Project, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.