The government has disbursed Rs12.889 billion to provide relief to the flood affectees in Sindh and some 1.2 million heads of families have received Rs10,000 each in 16 calamity affected districts of the province till date.
This was disclosed at a meeting held at the Bilawal House here on Monday to review rehabilitation work after the last year’s floods. President Asif Ali Zardari presided over the meeting.
The meeting was also informed that Sindh government during 2011 to 2012 has released Rs43.572 million ($500,000) for Cash Transfer Scheme especially for financing the Pakistan Card for Umerkot district. This money was released from the grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of USA.
President Zardari emphasising early completion of the projects directed to involve local representatives and the local population in the rehabilitation work.
The meeting was informed that “Early Recovery Phase” which started on January 1, includes intervention in eight sectors/clusters that include health, education, water & sanitation, nutrition, food security, shelter and community infrastructure.
A multi-sectoral damage needs assessment exercise was also conducted for “Revised Flash Appeal” worth $439.8 million. The RFA was launched on February 21 and Canada is the first country to respond to this appeal.
Regarding the rehabilitation work, the meeting was informed that about 97 per cent area has been cleared of rainwater and efforts were underway to dewater the remaining small pockets.
The meeting was informed that according to the revised rural access roads project with the assistance of Japanese, 328 kilometres of road construction work has been completed and the work on 221 kilometres was in progress.
The President was informed of the progress regarding his earlier directives to appoint a monitoring committee to supervise the work on reclamation of the historical old drainage channels.
The president directed that teachers training programme should be completed on priority in order to ensure that the children are taught by trained staff. Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq informed the meeting that USAID has announced it will rebuild around 200 schools that were damaged due to floods. UNICEF has also committed to undertake construction of 600 temporary schools out of which 50 have been completed. Similarly, Iran will rebuild 61 schools in rain-hit areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2012.