ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has allocated Rs258 million and started relief work to help 400,000 displaced people in 14 union councils badly ravaged by the raging flood waters in Badin.
Through its partner organisations, namely the Badin Rural Development Society, National Rural Support Programme and Health and Nutrition Development Society, the PPAF has started providing dry ration packs containing flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar, pulses, etc to the people.
Hygiene kits containing buckets, jerry cans, soap, etc. are also being distributed, said a statement issued by the PPAF on Thursday.
The PPAF has started organising mobile medical camps which will continue working through September. Once relief work is done, the PPAF will start working on the early recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation and mitigation and preparedness phases of disaster management along the Sindh coast, as in other areas of Pakistan.
The floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Sindh have affected about 3.8 million people besides causing an estimated loss of $7 billion to the agrarian economy as over 2.5 million bales of cotton, two million tons of rice, four million tons of sugarcane and many other small crops have been destroyed. About 0.1 million cattle head have been killed.
Agriculture experts are of the view that current rainy spell, which started on August 13, has not only resulted in the deaths of nearly 150 people but has also destroyed standing crops across 10 million acres out of 14.2 million acres in the province.
The PPAF is already executing a multi-pronged Rs2.6 billion Sindh Coastal Area Development (SCAD) programme with the allocation of over 65 per cent of its resources to districts of Badin and Thatta. SCAD includes projects for social mobilisation, integrated infrastructure upgrading projects, and technical innovation projects, health, mobile medical camps, education, livelihood rehabilitation, all targeting the ultra poor.
To date, as many as 2,691 infrastructure schemes benefiting 730,158 people (half of them female) have been completed in coastal communities.
The PPAF has established 71 health centres in Tharparkar, Thatta, Karachi and Badin. Of these 71 centres, 27 are in SCAD areas. These adopted health centres have been provided support for repairs, the renovation of buildings, provision of medical equipment, medicines, capital items and additional staff.
It has set up 210 schools benefiting over 25,000 students (10,995 boys and 11,210 girls) as well. These schools have been provided financial and technical support to repair and renovate their buildings and add drinking water facilities, toilets, furniture, teaching aids, uniform and shoes.
Under the Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) programme, assets of up to Rs15,000 are being provided to each of the 1,000 selected households with Rs12,000 as a subsistence allowance and social healthcare worth Rs12,000 over a period of one year. In addition, training is provided for a maximum of Rs3,000 per beneficiary.
The target areas for TUP have been the coastal areas of Badin, Thatta and Karachi west districts and the adjacent union councils of Tharparker.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2011.
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