UN helps cash-strapped Pakistan, Afghanistan deal with heavy flooding

UN helps cash-strapped Pakistan, Afghanistan deal with heavy flooding

NEW YORK: The United Nations on Wednesday said it is helping Pakistan and Afghanistan deal with recent heavy flooding that has caused heavy casualties and material damage in both countries.

“The UN team in Pakistan is boosting support to authorities in the most affected provinces of Balochistan and Sindh. To date, the UN team has mobilized 7 million US dollars to respond to the floods and has provided 1,100 metric tons of food rations, therapeutic feed and nutritional supplements,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Addressing a press briefing, Dujarric said a response plan is being finalized to coordinate the joint response and call for further resources, following a rapid assessment.

In Afghanistan, heavy rains and flash floods over the past week have impacted several provinces, affecting more than 8,200 families. Between August 16 and 21, flash floods killed 63 people and injured 115 others, including women and children. Nearly 3,400 homes are estimated to have been damaged or destroyed.

The United Nations and humanitarian partners have deployed assessment teams to identify needs in the affected areas. The teams are providing life-saving assistance to people, including food, water and sanitation, tents, health care service, psychosocial support and other essential supplies, he said.

So far this year, 256 people have been killed by flash floods in Afghanistan, including 118 since August 1.

In the wake of massive floods across Pakistan, the Shehbaz Sharif government has launched an international appeal seeking funds for relief and rehabilitation of flood-hit people across the country.

This decision to reach out to the world was made on Tuesday during an emergency meeting to reassess the damage caused by floods and to apprise donors of the magnitude of the crisis, the Dawn newspaper reported.

During the urgent meeting, the Pak PM also appealed to the nation to extend help to the flood-stricken people as the government needs additional funds to rehabilitate the flood victims.

“The current relief operation needs Pkr 80 billion and hundreds of billions of rupees also required to overcome the losses as well as for rehabilitation of the victims,” the Pakistan prime minister said in a video message.

Divulging the details of the crisis, Shehbaz said the government was distributing Pkr 37.2 billion as cash relief whereas funds to the tune of Pkr 5 billion had “immediately” been to accelerate the rescue efforts. (ANI)

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