New security guidelines cut relief hours in Pakistan

The spate of aid worker kidnappings in Pakistan is impeding relief work in the country.

Relief agency managers in flood-hit central Pakistan said local security forces have limited the working hours of nongovernmental organizations in rural communities. The security measure was brought about by the spate of kidnappings in the country, most notably the abduction last month of a Dutch and Italian national working for German NGO Welthungerhilfe.

Iqbal Shah, who oversees Save the Children’s work in the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur in Punjab province, said new security guidelines, such as returning to Multan by dusk, have become a “necessity.” He said it made humanitarian programs “very difficult” to deliver.

Insecurity in the country has also put badly needed programs in jeopardy. Shah said a major donor who would have sponsored a new child-protection program canceled its visit to the country because of the kidnappings.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.