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U.N. airlifts refugee supplies

GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) -- The U.N. refugee agency's second emergency airlift flight arrived Tuesday morning in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, carrying 17,000 blankets and 250 rolls of plastic sheeting.

More staffers with the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees have arrived in Pakistan and are being sent to Islamabad, Quetta and Peshawar to support the emergency operation that will provide aid to Afghan refugees.

The first team of specialists to the Khyber agency in northwest Pakistan will begin work on a new refugee camp that will be used to accommodate Afghan refugees if there is a major influx.

Afghans are fleeing or are feared to be getting ready to leave their homes because of a possible United States retaliation against the terror attacks in the United States last month and because of the persistent problems of drought and civil war.

Aid workers in Pakistan are struggling to meet the needs of refugees fleeing Afghanistan. CNN's Mike Chinoy reports (October 1)

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CNN's Nic Robertson has more on Dr. Sima Samar's struggles to help her people, the Afghans (October 1)

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The agency released the following developments:

-- A UNHCR relief flight scheduled to arrive in Iran on Tuesday has been delayed by 24 hours. It is now expected to arrive in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashad on Wednesday.

-- This week, the UNHCR is ordering more relief supplies locally in Pakistan -- 60,000 quilts, 20,000 plastic buckets, 20,000 kerosene stoves, 40,000 jerry cans, 20,000 kitchen sets, 40,000 synthetic mats, and 80,000 bars of soap.

-- Four U.N. agencies met in Quetta, Pakistan, with 15 nongovernment organizations to coordinate tasks. The groups established six panels to handle water and sanitation, health and nutrition, distribution of relief items, logistics and infrastructure, camp management, and protection and security.

UNHCR's planning team expects to visit potential camp sites in the Quetta area.

Also in Pakistan, the agency is reporting that thousands of Afghans have managed to get into Pakistan over the past few days despite an official border closing. Arrivals have reached the Quetta area from Kandahar, Kabul and southwest rural areas. Others have come from northern Afghanistan.

Between 10,000 and 20,000 Afghans estimated to be waiting at the Chaman border crossing near Quetta reportedly have left that area and retreated into Afghanistan. Many are thought to have gone back to their homes in Kandahar or retreated farther into the country. Others are trying to get into Afghanistan via other routes.


• The United Nations

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