UN warns relief supplies are running out for Pakistan flood affected people

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 30 Sep 2011

(Islamabad/New York: 30 September 2011): The United Nations is warning that resources are running out amidst growing humanitarian needs in flood ravaged southern Pakistan. The floods washed away entire communities and have left more than five million people struggling to survive without adequate food, water, health care and shelter.

“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. “Without additional resources, lives of the most vulnerable are endangered,” he added.

The floods have taken the lives of 415 people, displaced 1.8 million people and destroyed or damaged over a million homes. According to the Government of Pakistan, 2.16 million acres of crops have also been wiped out.

UN agencies estimate 2.5 million people are in desperate need of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. 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 to date have provided emergency shelter for 314,500 households. More than 1.6 million people have received medicines and medical consultations, and more than 413,000 people received food aid. Safe drinking water has been delivered to approximately 200,000 people and the UN aims to double this and provide up to 400,000 people with access to safe drinking water in the coming weeks.

If more funding is not received for relief activities, the UN and aid agencies will run out of food stocks in the next month. Safe drinking water supplies are only sufficient for the coming weeks, a third of the flood affected population could be without medical care in a month’s time, and contingency stocks of emergency shelter supplies will last only a few more weeks.

“It is tragic to see families displaced from the floods with no shelter and barely enough to survive on. These families worry their children will go hungry, and without access to safe drinking water, they fear they will become sick from drinking contaminated water,” said Fawad Hussein, UNOCHA Team Leader for Flood Relief. “More must be done to prevent further suffering and loss of life.”

This emergency has compounded 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, 13 were affected during the 2010 floods.

Nearly two weeks ago, the United Nations launched the Pakistan Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan, which seeks to enable the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to support the Government in addressing emergency needs for up to 5.4 million people for six months. The Plan is currently only 6 per cent funded, with US$19 million of the US$357 million required. “We are grateful that donors have started to give to the Rapid Response Plan. But to ensure that we can help save lives now as well as tomorrow, we call on the international community to urgently step up their support for the people of Pakistan through this Plan,” said Mr. Pakkala.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.