UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed the current French ambassador to the United Nations as his special envoy to Pakistan.
Ban created the new position to help the Pakistani government and international humanitarian agencies respond to the rise in the number of internally displaced persons.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported close to 2 million people were displaced by conflict in northwest Pakistan.
An outbreak of violence in the Upper Dir district of the North-West Frontier province has prompted local authorities to request housing for some 20,000 people to handle displacement issues.
Jean-Maurice Ripert, the new envoy, will work in coordination with Islamabad and the international community to promote a "strategic, coherent and comprehensive approach to supporting the humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction needs of crisis affected areas," the U.N. news center reports.
Ripert served as the permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva for the French government prior to the appointment. From 2003 to 2005, he served as a director of United Nations and international organizations for the French Foreign Ministry.