ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs $459.7 million to assist the urgent requirement of the population affected by the floods, a UN official said on Thursday, appealing to donors to generously step up and donate to help Pakistan in the worst natural disaster in the history of the country in terms of number of people affected.
“It is a race against time as we rush to deliver supplies to affected populations. Waters are still rising and we are bracing for flood waves as rivers overflow and rains continue,” said Humanitarian Coordinator UN Pakistan, Martin Mogwanja.
Heading a press conference, he also reported the launch of the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP). So far, donor agencies have contributed $47.8 million to the response activities of the international Humanitarian organizations, and a further $99.5 million has been pledged. Over $70 million of these amounts has already allocated to activities contained in PIFERP.
According to the government more than 14 million people have been affected by the floods so far. “Humanitarian agencies in Pakistan need to get more active, if we don’t manage soon enough the suffering would rise, many would be left homeless and more lives will be lost,” said Mogwanja.
According to the official, shelter is the most needed cluster. $105 million is required to provide tents or plastic sheeting as well as household goods for an initial target of over 2 million people. More than 65,000 tents have already been delivered covering at least 450,000 people, along with plastic sheets for an estimated 60,000 people.
Food assistance will require $150.5 million, while $5.7 million will be needed for the survival of livestock. WFP and its partners have delivered food for at least 370,000 people, including those residing in remote areas of Swat.
Clean water will cost $110 million to prevent water borne diseases, while $14.2 million is needed for emergency health care to ensure proper nutrition for children under the age of five.
Officials have warned of further devastation, while the number of affected people rises. “We have only witnessed 30 per cent of the expected monsoons, more rains and floods are expected especially in Sindh,” said Spokesperson National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Ahmed Kamal said.
“We have 55 helicopters in the field and more are coming in – four from Afghanistan, three from the UAE, six from the US,” said Kamal when asked about facilities. Meanwhile in Karachi, a chartered airliner carrying 100 tons of emergency relief items sent by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) arrived on Thursday, worth $360,000.
“Unicef’s main supply warehouse in Copenhagen sent these items to support our ongoing relief activities in flood-affected areas,” said UNICEF Chief Field Office Sindh, Andro Shilakadze.
“It is first major shipment of emergency supplies and we expect more to arrive in coming days. Since our prepositioned supplies in one of major warehouses were washed out by floods, supplies received today were urgently needed. We will shift items to affected areas for immediate distribution among affected population in Sindh, especially women and children”, he added.
As figures continue to rise, Unicef estimates 6 million children have been affected by floods in Pakistan with some 2.7 million children in need of urgent, life-saving assistance. (ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM PPI)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2010.
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