Pakistan

Pakistan: All districts of Balochistan declared calamity-hit

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QUETTA, Jan 25: The Balochistan government has declared all the districts of the province, except Chattar and Tanbo subdivisions, calamity-hit areas and appealed to the people for donation in the relief fund for the drought affected people.
Provincial Revenue Minister Mir Mohammad Asim Kurd Gello said at a press conference on Saturday that Balochistan was facing drought for the last four years, which had badly affected over two million people and eight million livestock.

He said two million acres agriculture land and orchards were destroyed. He said severe drought had forced the people to migrate from their villages in search of water and food.

The minister said the situation was worst in Kharan, Chaghai, Pishin, Khuzdar and Qila Abdullah districts.

He said relief operation was continuing in the affected areas since 2000 and various long-term projects were being implemented at a cost of Rs910 million, provided by the federal government for the rehabilitation of people.

He said the government gave top priority to the relief programme and in this connection Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali had announced a package of Rs2 billion for the Balochistan.

He said that before launching the relief operation a comprehensive plan would be evolved in a cabinet meeting.

He said the government would take all possible steps for ensuring proper use of funds being providing by the federal government for the rehabilitation of the affected people.

He said the province needed more funds for its relief efforts. He said the Balochistan government had demanded Rs11.5 billion for meeting the requirements of the drought-hit areas.

He expressed the hope that the federal government would seriously consider providing more funds to the province.

Provincial assembly members Asghar Rind, Habibur Rehman and Ambroz John Frances were also present.

The minister donated his one-month salary to the relief fund.

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