Up to $572 million is required by UN agencies to complete the early recovery and reconstruction phase in the aftermath of last year’s floods, The Express Tribune has learnt.
UNDP adviser for early recovery programme Zafar Iqbal said that donors need to immediately release the pledged funds and implementing partners need to divert the released money for relief. The agency, in its Early Recovery bulletin, revealed that the funding gap remains a challenge for agencies. Of a total gap amounting to $572 million, the funding gap for housing remains the highest at Rs174.6 million which is 30 per cent of the required amount. Agriculture and food security remains second with a funding gap of US$119.3 million – a total of 21 per cent of the required amount. Iqbal said that there are funding challenges in almost every sector which need to be addressed in time, adding that the donors had pledged enough funds to meet approximately half of the $572 million needed.
“Half of the problems could be resolved if the donors disburse funds. The other half the government of Pakistan can manage,” Iqbal said. According to the UNDP adviser, a funding gap of US$137 million needs to be filled in the non-farm livelihood sector. A total of 127 projects in the sector are supposed to be launched shortly but are subject to availability of funds.
However, more resources have been made available for the community-based early recovery systems in 81 of the worst affected union councils. Iqbal pointed out that post 18th Amendment, PDMAs have been actively involved in the rehabilitation phase.
“Still there are many grey areas such as capacity building which needs to be supplemented either by the donors, agencies or the government itself,” Iqbal said. The early recovery and reconstruction phase is going to run throughout 2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.