ISLAMABAD - The United Nations Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said on Friday that $ 543 million were needed to bring the IDPs back to normal life. He said this while addressing a press conference. John Holmes said that $237 million were collected so far as a result of the UN humanitarian appeal to the donors, especially the international community. He said that at present funds werent enough and an additional amount of $306 million was needed. We appealed to the international community for financial assistance in the operation-affected areas and received $ 237 million, its half of the money we need, he added. Holmes, who is scheduled to leave for New York today (Saturday) after brief visit to Pakistan, shared his observations about his trip to the NWFP including Mardan, Swabi, Buner and the adjoining belt. After having visited all those areas with exception to Swat, the conclusion that I have arrived at is that its a very complex humanitarian crisis, a unique one with unique challenges that have to be tackled to bring the life back on the normal track, the Relief Coordinator stated. Sharing his assessment of the situation in operation-hit areas, the UN Under Secretary maintained, Although, the government and international community have done tremendous job to facilitate the IDPs but the fact they face some serious problems cant be denied. Among the persisting problems, Holmes said, include intense heat, overburdened host communities, water, health and sanitation issues. I spent ten minutes in a tent and the heat was overwhelming, thats a very serious issue, besides, the host communities in the region have been very generous, they are accommodating a large number of IDPs and are doing more than enough, they need to be helped and strengthened, he suggested. Pointing to another grave issue, John Holmes said that as many as 3700 schools with 700,000 students were being used as shelters for the IDPs while the September 1, the date of the commencement of classes in those schools, was heading nearer. The date for the start of the classes is fast approaching, we have to address this issue before the classes start, he said. Besides, the UN representative maintained, other persisting problems include registration of IDPs, arrival of monsoon in the days ahead, congested tents and movement of masses back to their hometowns. He said the IDPs who returned to Buner faced several issues. Yes, the existing situation is very challenging, people who returned to their hometowns had a tough time under the prevailing conditions, Holmes added. But the overall picture seemed encouraging, he said. The Pakistani government and international community are determined to rehabilitate the IDPs. Ive interacted with the people, they are resilient and brave, they are trying to live normal lives, Im sure things would change for good soon. We want that when people go back, the water, electricity, medication and security is there and they dont face any problem, the UN Under Secretary added. Responding to a query regarding the apathy of the donors towards IDPs, John Holmes believed that the current global economic decline might have been a reason that explained why the donors showed 'slowness towards the matter. Responding to another question regarding IDPs in Swat, he said, I havent been able to visit Swat so I havent an exact idea what conditions are there. In addition, he urged the donors and international community to show generosity, as billions of dollars were required for the affected region, in the long run. Martin Mogwanja, Humanitarian Coordinator, UN said that the UN in collaboration with the government of Pakistan, was working on implementing a comprehensive return programme for IDPs. Manuel Bessler, Head of UNOCHA and Stephanie Bunker Spokesperson, UNOCHA were also present on the occasion. AFP/Reuters add: Pakistans reconstruction effort after fighting forced nearly two million people from their homes could cost billions of dollars, John Holmes warned. He also warned there was no immediate guarantee of security in parts of the northwest as the government prepares to return the first of the 1.9 million displaced people. As for rehabilitation and reconstruction, costs should be in billions of dollars for a year or so, he said. In May, the United Nations launched a flash appeal for 542 million dollars in emergency assistance, of which 42 percent has been donated. We are not intending a new appeal but hope that donors will respond generously to the appeal launched by the UN, Holmes said. Even if the returns are significant and rapid ... we expect the humanitarian needs to be considerable for the rest of the year, he said. Holmes said that, while the United Nations was working with the government to establish a strategy for returning the displaced, it could potentially have to scale back its help if the returns were not voluntary or other humanitarian principles were not followed. If the returns are done in such a way that we would have great difficulty with them, then that would affect the degree to which we would be able to support those operations, he said. We have to be pragmatic about this as well. The conditions may not be 100 percent right in all areas, we recognise that.