Geneva talks address aid to Pakistan

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Pakistani and UN officials hold a two-day meeting to discuss humanitarian issues.

GENEVA - Pakistani authorities, local officials and international aid agencies are meeting in Geneva to ease relief aid in Northwest Frontier Province, mediators said Monday.

The two-day meeting at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue aims to address several humanitarian issues including access to aid, security of displaced people and of relief workers, HD Centre spokesman Andy Andrea said.

"They're looking at practical ways to address this," he told AFP.

The participants include representatives of Pakistan's government, local officials from Northwest Frontier Province, as well as representatives of UN relief agencies and the Red Cross.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned that the situation in tribal and northwestern areas of Pakistan worsened in recent months, with more people fleeing their homes and more wounded.

Deploying aid was dangerous in some of the areas bordering Afghanistan, while many civilians received inadequate help, an ICRC official added in March.

The Geneva-based agency said it helped an estimated 40,000 displaced people in those areas in 2008, compared with none in 2007, and was preparing to help 140,000 displaced people in 2009.

The Pakistan military launched a new attack against Taliban militants in the northwest on Sunday after the US exerted pressure to stop extremists in the region.

AFP / Expatica

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