KARACHI: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has chalked out a $120 million project for the rehabilitation of flood survivors in Sindh, said Jean Lu Stalon, its acting country representative. Stalon met Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday along with his team.
He told the CM that the agency is launching a comprehensive one-year programme in the flood-hit areas of Sindh. “We will construct low-cost houses in collaboration with the government of Sindh,” said Stalon, adding that they will also mobilise resources and funds from donors to extend further assistance to flood survivors.
He also urged the provincial government to formulate a comprehensive plan and to fix its priorities so that the technical support extended by UNDP for relief and rehabilitation is put to good use.
Together with the national and provincial disaster management authorities, UNDP will help restore affected communities to a safe environment and enable them to recover from the devastation wrought by the flood.
The UNDP will provide an integrated and expanded platform for the five UNDP projects, including community restoration, shelter, protection and agriculture, in the revised Pakistan floods emergency response plan, which was launched on September 17.
Discussing post-flood measures in Sindh, Shah said that the province is an agriculture-based province and the economy and infrastructure has been terribly damaged by the flood. The government does not only want to rehabilitate people, it also wants to accelerate the pace of development and boost agricultural activities to make up for the losses.
“There is still water standing in precious lands but it is beyond our capacity to drain it,” said the chief minister.
The government’s first priority is to ensure that the next crop in Sindh, particularly in its upper parts, will be abundant, he added. They also have to concentrate on the restoration of irrigation and drainage systems, farm-to-market roads and the provision of seed and fertilizer to growers. These steps will help to restore the confidence of the people, who must also work day and night for the revival of the province’s economy. Shah thanked the UNDP team and appreciated their gesture of cooperation.
The meeting was attended by Senior Adviser to UNDP Ali Syed, the owner of SIMZAIN International M Saleem Khan, Adviser Kaisar Bengali, Sindh Chief Secretary Ghulam Ali Pasha, Additional Chief Secretary Muhammad Ishak Lashari, Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority Muhammad Saleh Farooqui among others.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2010.
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