PAKISTAN: EMERGENCY FAR FROM OVER IN THE SOUTH AND SUFFERING MUST BE STOPPED: UN HUMANITARIAN CHIEF

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 03 Dec 2010
(Islamabad / New York / Geneva: 03 December 2010): On the second day of her four-day visit to Pakistan, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos travelled to the flood-ravaged area of Sindh province. She met flood displaced people and reviewed the ongoing relief and recovery efforts.

"Everything I saw and heard today confirmed that this disaster is far from over," said Ms. Amos. Four months on, millions of people in Pakistan are still living without the most basic necessities because their homes and livelihoods have been washed away or damaged by the floods. Out of an estimated 18 million people affected by the floods, close to 7.2 million are in Sindh. As a result of ongoing relief efforts, more than 2 million people in Sindh have had access to safe water and more than 4.3 million people have received food assistance. But concerns remain about the high level of malnutrition and potential for a serious outbreak of disease. Some of the most vulnerable are children and pregnant women. Large areas of the province are still under water, nearly half a million homes have been destroyed and one million people remain displaced.

In Sehwan district, Ms. Amos met families who are still living in camps. They discussed the difficulties they face, their desire to return home and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

Ms. Amos also met representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies and local government officials in Sehwan to discuss the continuing challenges in the relief effort.

"People are worried about the future - for many of them even when the waters recede, they will have nothing to go back to," she said.

Last month, the United Nations and its partners delivered food to six million people. More than 4.3 million people have access to safe drinking water on a daily basis, emergency shelter materials have been distributed to 4.7 million people, and more than seven million people have benefitted from essential health care.

"A lot has been done, but there is much more to do," said Ms. Amos. "Four months on, there are still long lines of tents along dykes and dams. Even the strongest are growing weary. It is critical that we continue to assist the people of Pakistan during this devastating emergency."

For further information, please call: OCHA Pakistan: Stacey Winston, + 92 300 850 2397, winston@un.org; OCHA New York: Stephanie Bunker, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 347 244 2106, bunker@un.org; Nicholas Reader, + 1 212 963 4961, mobile + 1 646 752 3117, reader@un.org, OCHA Geneva: Elisabeth Byrs, + 41 22 917 2653, mobile + 41 79 473 4570, byrs@un.org

OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int

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