World Bank boosts flood support to $1b

The World Bank increased its support while the UN says the pace of funding has drastically reduced since last week.


Agencies September 02, 2010

The World Bank has increased funding to help Pakistan cope with catastrophic flooding by $100 million, to a total of $1 billion, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

"The World Bank is committed to helping the people of Pakistan during this time of need and has made $1 billion available to finance immediate recovery needs and longer-term reconstruction," the statement quoted World Bank President Robert Zoellick as telling Pakistani Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh in Washington.

The funds are being diverted to flood use from money already earmarked for Pakistan. They will come from the International Development Association, the bank's fund for the poorest countries, and are concessional and carry no interest payments, the statement said.

Zoellick also told Shaikh that continued economic, institutional and governance reforms were critical to maintaining donor confidence.

"We need to respond strongly to the crisis at hand, but we need to do it without losing sight of important economic reforms," he was quoted as saying.

"Renewed commitment to governance and fiscal reforms will be important to mobilize domestic revenues and ensure that funds reach the poor people it is intended for. The response of donors to the floods will also depend on the government's ability to deliver in this area," he said.

Slow funding hits relief effort: UN

Relief efforts are being stretched by the "unprecedented scale" of the disaster, while funding has almost stalled, the UN said Thursday.

"Given the number of those in need, this is a humanitarian operation of unprecedented scale," said Manuel Bessler, head of the UN's coordination agency, OCHA.

"We need to reach at least eight million people, from the Karakoram Mountain Range in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south."

The UN said 1,760 people have died as a result of the floods and more than 18 million people have been affected, with some eight million left reliant on aid handouts to survive.

The initially slow pace of funding had improved significantly since a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on August 15, the UN said in a statement.

"But it has been almost stalled since the beginning of last week," rising from just 274 million dollars to 291 million dollars, equivalent to 63.4 percent of required funds, the statement said.

"The crisis is far from over," said Tammy Hasselfeldt, chair of a Pakistan charity consortium. "In fact, we are now entering the most difficult stages. Unless we can act fast enough, children and other vulnerable people may succumb."

TDAP gives Rs2.35 million

The officers and staff of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on Thursday expressed deep grief over the huge human loss and displacement due to the unprecedented flood in the country and contributed Rs2.35 million towards Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund 2010.

Hilal-e-Ahmar sends trucks to affected areas

Hilal-e-Ahmar Punjab Faisalabad branch on Thursday dispatched 11 trucks laden with relief goods to districts Layyah, Kot Addu and Muzaffargharh.

According to a press release, the relief goods comprised flour, sugar, tea, rice, milk, soap and some other basic need items. The total cost of these goods was estimated to be Rs3 million which was contributed by the members of Hilal-e-Ahmar Punjab Faisalabad branch.

PPL distributes food in affected region

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) on Thursday distributed dry food packages among flood vicitms in Sindh and Balochistan.

According to a company announcement, managing director PPL Khalid Rahman visited Karampur Town and handed-over relief goods and tents for 600 families in the area.

PPL has so far set up 14 relief camps, manned by doctors, paramedic staff and volunteers across Kandhkot District to provide emergency healthcare to local community. Over 6,000 patients have been treated at these camps.

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