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The long road: Australian humanitarian agency response to the 2010 floods in Pakistan

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Millions of Pakistanis still need aid: New report

With the world’s gaze on Pakistan, aid agencies today urged the international community not to forget the plight of the 21 million people whose lives were devastated by last year's floods.

In a new report launched today, The Long Road: Australian humanitarian agency response to the floods in Pakistan, ACFID highlights the ongoing humanitarian needs of the people affected by the 2010 Pakistan floods – one of the largest natural disasters in recent history.

“The report shows that assistance to the Pakistani population is underfunded at present, including in essential areas such as food security and shelter. International aid is helping to address these problems, and to bring the country back from the brink of full-scale disaster and discord,” said Marc Purcell, Executive Director of ACFID.

“More assistance is needed so that we can continue this work. Aid is helping to build security, stability and social cohesion.”

Millions of Pakistanis still need aid: New Report

The report explores the massive social and political ramifications of the disaster for the already vulnerable population. It highlights the important work that Australian humanitarian organisations are undertaking.

The floods killed or injured nearly 5000 people and damaged 2.9 million households. The flood path covered more than 100,000 square kilometres of land. But these statistics fail to capture the long-lasting damage the disaster has caused and the desperate needs that will continue for years to come.

“With 2.1 million hectares of standing crops destroyed and one million tons of food and seed stocks gone, the people of Pakistan are yet to face the worst of their food security crisis,” Mr Purcell said.

“Through this report, we hope to promote a deeper understanding of the impact of such disasters, and the long-term commitment that is needed to support the people of Pakistan, still in crisis and chronic poverty, to recover and rebuild.

“Disaster responses in developing countries take a long time and need a real commitment to see it through. When the Australian Government hands down the federal budget next week, we’d like this long-term commitment to disaster response be reflected.

“Specifically, funding for disaster risk reduction in Australia’s aid program should be doubled to help reduce the human cost of natural disasters such as these in the future.

“The Australian Government should also focus on ensuring a consistent approach to protracted situations and fragile states in the region. With our experience and commitment to helping those in need, Australia is well placed to be a world leader in responding to crises such as these,” Mr Purcell concluded.