Pakistan needs more aid - UN

2010-09-02 14:26

Thatta - Relief efforts in flood-ravaged Pakistan are being stretched by the "unprecedented scale" of the disaster, with the flow of international aid almost at a standstill, the United Nations (UN) said on Thursday.

Thousands remain trapped by floodwaters in the hardest-hit southern province of Sindh, while others are complaining of going without food or water for days and some are being forced to live in the rubble of their ruined homes.

Although the initially slow pace of aid had improved since a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in mid-August, the UN said it had "almost stalled" since the beginning of last week, rising from $274m to $291m - about two thirds of funding needs.

The deluge has engulfed an area the size of England, affecting more than 18 million people, including eight million who are dependent on aid handouts to survive.

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

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

Triple threat to food supplies

The floods have ruined 3.6 million hectares of rich farmland and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said farmers urgently needed seeds to plant for next year's crops.

The World Food Programme has warned that Pakistan faces a triple threat to food supplies - with seeds, crops and incomes hit.

Pakistan's ambassador to the UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon on Thursday called for an investigation into claims that wealthy landowners diverted flood waters towards villages to protect their crops.

"It is suggested in some areas, those to be protected were allowed, had allowed, levies to be burst on opposite sides to take the water away. If that is happening the government should be enquiring," Haroon told the BBC's HardTalk programme.

In southern Pakistan, hundreds of hungry and desperate families from a relief camp in the city of Thatta blocked the highway to Karachi for three hours on Wednesday, demanding the government provide more food and shelter.

"No food or water has been provided to us for the past two days," Mohammad Qasim, a 60-year-old resident of the flooded town of Sujawal, said.

Economic losses

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, whose government has come under fire for its handling of the country's worst ever humanitarian crisis, said on Wednesday the flooding had caused economic losses of $43bn.

He said Pakistan faced inflation of up to 20% and slower economic growth, warning of job losses and social unrest.

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick announced an extra $100m to add to an existing $900m loan as he met Pakistan's Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh in Washington on Wednesday.

Zoellick said he and Shaikh discussed plans for institutional and governance reforms in Pakistan in the wake of the disaster.

The World Bank pledged to help Pakistan set up systems for tracking aid flows and monitoring the process to tackle waste and corruption.

Floodwaters moving south through Sindh province are now 28km from the Arabian Sea, officials said, and will likely take another week to flow away.

But the waters have already reached the town of Jati and are threatening nearby Choohar Jamoli town, the last two sizeable human populations under threat on the east bank of the swollen Indus.

Sindh worst-hit

Sindh is the worst-hit province, with 19 of its 23 districts ravaged as floodwaters have swollen the Indus to 40 times its usual volume.

One million people have been displaced over the past few days alone, while the government's official death toll from the floods has reached 1 760.

Initial relief efforts are still underway in the country's militant-troubled northwest, nearly two weeks after torrential rains stopped in the region.

The head of the UN refugee agency in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, said shelter would be provided by next week for 80 000 people cut off from their villages by flooded roads and damaged bridges.

Khalid bin Waleed, a resident of Charsadda, said most of the 350 homes in the village had been destroyed and no government help was forthcoming.

"Now people are living on the rubble of their houses and those better off are camping on their roofs," Waleed said, adding that his village had so far had no help from the government.

- SAPA

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  pakistan  |  asia floods

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.