Government and humanitarian community unveils early recovery plan

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Islamabad, April 13, 2011: As Pakistan’s response to the floods of July 2010 moves from relief to early recovery, the focus of assistance will be towards rebuilding livelihoods, rehabilitating basic and critical physical infrastructure, restoring health, education and water and sanitation services while targeting the most vulnerable and marginalized across the flood-affected districts. 18 million people and an area of 50,000 sq km was adversely affected with 1.8 million houses damaged/destroyed in last year’s floods.

At the conclusion of the relief phase in January this year, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the UN and other development partners established an Early Recovery Working Group (ERWG) which is jointly chaired by NDMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and will coordinate Early Recovery(ER) in 29 most-affected districts till end December.

The ER programme constitutes 8 key sectoral and 4 thematic working groups. These include Food and Agriculture, Health and Nutrition, Education, Water and Sanitation, Housing, Governance, Non-Farm Livelihoods, and Community Infrastructure. The 4 thematic sub-groups will ensure that Environment, Protection, Disaster Risk Reduction and Gender considerations are mainstreamed across the main sectors.

Chairman NDMA Lt. General (Retd.) Nadeem Ahmed and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Timo Pakkala unveiled the plan today emphasizing that it aims to addresses a critical gap in coverage between humanitarian relief and long-term recovery—between reliance and self-sufficiency.

The mapping and gap analysis for ER has shown that the overall needs of the affected population stands in excess of US$ 1 billion. The ERWG, however, has prioritized the needs of the most vulnerable and the funding gap for responding to these critical needs is US $ 600.8 million.

Chairman NDMA, Lt. General (Retd.) Nadeem Ahmed said, ‘the gap analysis and planned activities in this Plan remain within the range of the Revised Pakistan Floods Relief and Early Recovery Response Plan and highlights critical needs. The remaining funds from the relief phase must be redirected to prioritized ER sectors to enable the affected communities to rebuild their lives’.

‘The transition from relief to long-term recovery is a major challenge for any post-crisis country. This Plan is a collaborative effort of the government and UN to bridge this gap and it is critical that the international community supports this effort both technically and financially’ said Timo Pakkala, Humanitarian Coordinator. ‘The financial support by the donors to the prioritized areas of intervention are not only important to restore the lives and livelihoods of the affected people, but will also have positive spillovers for the precarious economic situation of Pakistan by enhancing food security and creating emergency employment. I hope that the donors’ pledged support will quickly translate into financial releases’, he added.