The United Nations launches a USD 38 million Flash Appeal to assist the flood-affected
Islamabad, 18 July 2007 - The United Nations launched a USD 38 million Flash Appeal today in Geneva to assist hundreds of thousands of people in southwest Pakistan struggling to survive widespread flooding in the aftermath of cyclone Yemyin, which ravaged Balochistan and Sindh in late June.
An estimated 2.5 million people have been affected by the flooding which followed four days of drenching cyclonic rains leaving 296 people dead, 195 missing and over 377,000 people displaced. While some have found sanctuary with friends and relatives, others are living in school buildings, or in improvised roadside shelters enduring scorching heat, dust storms and severe deprivation.
“United Nations agencies and NGOs are working closely with the Pakistan authorities to bring urgent assistance to those affected by this disaster,” said John Holmes, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, speaking at the launch of the appeal in Geneva. “I urge the world to respond urgently and generously to this appeal. If we don’t act quickly their plight is likely to deteriorate further.”
The Flash Appeal is the result of collaboration between the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan, NGOs (local and international) and the United Nations. The projects identified in the appeal will provide urgent assistance over the next three months, focusing on shelter, water and sanitation, health, food security and early recovery activities. Detailed needs assessments were carried out jointly by the Government and humanitarian community during the second week of July.
Many people are living in makeshift spontaneous settlements, camps and public buildings. There is an urgent need for emergency shelter materials that can also later be used to reconstruct homes.
Damaged and contaminated water systems and wells have caused an acute shortage of safe drinking water. Clean water must be supplied while efforts are made to repair water sources. Ensuring adequate access to sanitation and hygiene will prevent possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases. Support must be provided to ensure access to basic health care and other essential services for the most vulnerable.
Damage to crops, food stocks and livestock has caused food insecurity, while measures must be taken now to prevent malnutrition. Furthermore, most of the population relies on farming for food and for their livelihoods. Early recovery interventions should begin now to help affected communities restore livelihoods and regain normal living conditions.