Pakistan: PPAF sets up Rs 300 million disaster relief fund for quake affected areas - Kamal Hyat

Report
from Government of Pakistan
Published on 17 Jan 2006
ISLAMABAD, Jan 17 (APP): The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has set up a Disaster Relief Fund of Rs. 300 million to help support the victims of October 8 devastating earthquake.
The PPAF has also donated Rs one million to the President's Relief Fund along with a contribution of one day salary from the employees, Chief Executive PPAF, Kamal Hyat told APP here on Tuesday.

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, which is the largest social fund of its kind set up by World Bank, has made considerable contributions towards earthquake relief efforts, in close coordination with government functionaries and civil society partners, he added.

Kamal Hyat said that the World Bank, PPAF's major donor, allowed diversion of funds from its normal operations for relief work.

He added that a Disaster Management Committee, chaired by CEO PPAF with representation from civil society, private sector, Pakistan Army, GOP and PPAF management was also formed to manage and coordinate with the PPAF in its three tier strategy.

The strategy, in the first phase concentrated on immediate relief, while the 2nd and 3rd stages focus on rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Kamal Kyat said that a PPAF Disaster Relief Centre has also been set up in Islamabad and for more effective and targeted interventions, PPAF also set up five relief centres in Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot, Bagh, Mansehra and Balakot to ensure swift delivery to quake victims in a more coordinated manner.

The PPAF relief operations are focused in the areas of AJK & NWFP and are being carried out in conjunction with civil society organisations, Pakistan Army, and international relief agencies already working for the same purpose, he added.

He further said that as part of the first phase, 30 truckloads of food items, lifesaving drugs, water, milk, tents, clothing, quilts and blankets worth Rs 15 million were dispatched to affected areas.

In addition on site extensive helicopter sorties have been managed through 10 Corps (Islamabad) & 11 Corps (Peshawar) of Pakistan Army, he added.

He said that a total of 100,000 CGI Sheets are being distributed by PPAF among earthquake survivors of AJK and NWFP.

He said that till now PPAF has distributed 33,000 CGI sheets through 56 helicopter sorties supported by Pakistan and US armies.

This, he said was part of intensive efforts to ensure the immediate provision of shelters to quake victims but also to equip them with sufficient supplies to withstand the Himalayan winter.

The strategy adopted for distribution was based on the core philosophy of PPAF of targeting the most deprived, he added.

Kamal Kyat said that the first site selected for this operation was Union Council Bateela, Tehsil Allai -one of worst affected areas with approximately 1000 houses.

Bateela, located at approximately 5000 feet above sea level with the first snow on the mountain peaks in late November, and more snow and rain being expected by the next few days, he added.

He said that with the joint PPAF, SRSP, Pak and US army relief effort immediate decision was made to shift 5,000 CGI sheets to Bateela for 500 families, he added.

He said that household package for winter shelter includes 10 CGI Sheet properly packed in stacks of 5 along with tool kit and quilt with plastic mattress.

For this purpose PPAF team established its base at Banna Allai with forward base camp at Bateela.

The Chief Executive PPAF said that a computerised list of 1400 houses was prepared with identification marks of high, medium and low priority.

The objective of this activity was not only to identify and prioritize households but also to avoid possible duplication and exploitation, he added.

He added that situation mobilisation process was immediately started by identifying 150 volunteers forming 18 groups from 27 settlements.

In addition to these 50 additional volunteers were identified for backup support, he added.

Another important aspect of this whole operation, he said was formation of HIFAZATI COMMITTEES (for on site protection) for securing the landing zone, CGI Sheets and other relief goods.

In addition army camp at Bateela was requested to provide safety for the US Helicopters and technical assistance in sling operations.

In the second phase, he said the PPAF relief operation prioritised the restoration of infrastructure.

One important decision in this regard envisaged the rehabilitation of PPAF-funded infrastructural projects.

Kamal Hyat said that the PPAF has undertaken the task of rehabilitation and reconstruction in quake-hit areas with resources of Rs.6 billion.

This funding being made available by the World Bank is in addition to the ongoing PPAF programme of Rs 22 billion, he added.

"It will enable PPAF to finance costs associated with provision of housing, community physical infrastructure, public buildings, social mobilisation and technical assistance", he added.

Prior to the recent catastrophe, he said that the PPAF already had extensive presence in the affected areas as seven of its partner organisations were already working in Bagh, Rawlakot and Sadhnoti in AJK and Abbottabad, Mansehera, Batagram, Balakot and Kohistan in NWFP, where PPAF POs had supported over 1000 infrastructure schemes and disbursed over Rs. 200 million of micro credit in the region.

The first stage of this project is the revitalisation of communities through intensive social mobilisation (approx 1 million individuals) with an outlay of Rs 2 billion, he added.

This component, he said would involve the rehabilitation of about 1200 existing schemes.

He added that about 800 of these schemes would be those initially supported by PPAF, while the remaining ones will include those which were built through other sources of funding.

PPAF, he said has dedicated staff for systematic monitoring and supervision to ensure physical progress, design adherence, quality assurance and financial transparency, he added.

He said that Technical assistance was acquired and services of national and international experts were hired to assist design of earthquake resistant structures, using indigenous materials and techniques.

The second phase would involve low-cost seismologically appropriate housing and community buildings with a cost of Rs 4 billion.

This component will involve financial assistance for the reconstruction of 24,000 damaged or destroyed houses, located in 240 villages of NWFP and AKJ and also preparation and dissemination of earthquake resistant designs involving low-cost, easily incorporated structural improvements in the traditionally built houses, using indigenous materials and technologies, he added.

Kamal Hyat said that the disbursements will be made to each affected and participating household at an average of Rs 150,000 per dwelling unit, according to a pre-agreed mode of disbursement.

The disbursement of funds will be tied to various stages of construction and contingent upon adherence to the agreed designs and specifications, to the satisfaction of the concerned PO and PPAF, through regular/intensive inspection & monitoring.

He added that POs will also be funded, and communities involved, in construction of standardized, earthquake resistant, multi-purpose, community buildings. Under normal circumstances, these buildings will be used as a school or a health facility and/or any other community facility.

In case of a future emergency, these buildings will serve as a readily available shelter, he added.