Pakistan

Pakistan: Relief operation begins in drought-hit Aranji

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QUETTA, Jan 11: Revenue Minister Asim Kurd confirming the death of more than 20 people during the past two months in Aranji, Khuzdar district, owing to drought has said that the government has launched a relief operation in the area.

Flanked by the provincial relief commissioner and senior member of the Board of Revenue, Mohammed Sharif, the minister speaking to reporters at a press conference on Saturday said that the people died due to lack of medical facilities, shortage of potable water and basic needs.

The people in Aranji were suffering from various diseases mainly due to malnutrition and scarcity of clean drinking water, he added.

The minister claimed that the health department had established medical camps in the area where 1,400 people were examined and most of them were found suffering from common diseases.

Mr Kurd said that food and other items were also dispatched for the drought-affected people of Aranji and Sarona areas of the Khuzdar district.

The minister said that though Aranji was facing the worst situation, the entire province was hit by the drought for the last six years. He said that more efforts were needed to rehabilitate the people.

The minister said that the provincial relief commissioner had visited the area to assess the situation and a "drought relief package" of Rs 600 million was proposed by Chief Minister Jam Mohammed Yousaf and forwarded to Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali.

Mr Kurd informed the reporters that Mr Jamali had approved a relief package of Rs 150 million and sent it to ministry for finance to arrange the funds for the drought-hit area.

He said that the government alone could not control the situation and it needed the help of the people and non-governmental organizations.

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