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Relief supplies running out for flood-ravaged Pak: UN

October 01, 2011 14:27 IST

The United Nations has warned that relief supplies are running out amidst growing humanitarian needs in flood-ravaged areas of southern Pakistan, where more than five million people have been affected by a deluge triggered by monsoon rains.

"Urgent relief is critical as families continue to suffer in the aftermath of the floods. Unless we receive new pledges to the Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan, millions of people will be left in need of food, clean water and essential medicines for months to come," said Timo Pakkala, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan.

If more funding is not received, the UN and aid agencies will run out of food stocks in October. Safe drinking water supplies are sufficient for the coming weeks and a third of the flood-affected people could be without medical care in a month's time. Contingency stocks of emergency shelter supplies will last only a few more weeks, the UN said.

The floods washed away entire communities and have left over five million people struggling to survive without adequate food, water, healthcare and shelter.

"Without additional resources, lives of the most vulnerable are endangered," Pakkala said. The floods have killed 415 people, displaced 1.8 million and destroyed or damaged over a million homes.

According to the Pakistan government, 2.16 million acres of crops have been wiped out.

UN agencies estimate that 2.5 million people are in desperate need of safe drinking water and sanitation. Food is needed for 2.75 million people, while 2.96 million people are in urgent need of medical care.          

At least 1.75 million people require emergency shelter. Relying on limited contingency stocks, the UN and its humanitarian partners have provided emergency shelter for 314,500 households so far.

Over 1.6 million people have received medicines and medical consultations, and more than 413,000 got food aid.

"It is tragic to see families displaced from the floods with no shelter and barely enough to survive on," said Fawad Hussein, UNOCHA Team Leader for Flood Relief.

The current emergency has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities due to last year's devastating floods that affected more than 18 million people across Pakistan. Of 27 affected districts in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, 13 were also affected during last  year's floods.

Nearly two weeks ago, the UN launched the Pakistan Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan that seeks to enable the world body and its humanitarian partners to support the government in meeting emergency needs of 5.4 million people for six months.

The Plan is currently only six per cent funded, and only $19 million of $357 million required has been raised.

Pakkala called on the international community to urgently step up support for the people of Pakistan.
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