Pakistan

Pakistan: Urban winter relief distribution completes in Muzaffarabad & Bagh

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Islamabad February 14th, 2007 - United Nations Resident Coordinator, Jan Vandemoortele applauding the commitment of the agencies and the Government of Pakistan, said " The coordination between the authorities and the humanitarian community working in the quake zone is exemplary and the successful completion of the urban relief distribution is a classic case in point."

Responding to the request of the State Government PAK, the humanitarian organizations coordinated the targeted distribution of tents, blankets, tarpaulin sheets, plastic sheets and winter clothing etc. to the most vulnerable that included female headed households, widows & senior citizens without family support, orphans, disabled people and families with children under five years.

IOM provided logistical support and monitored the distribution process to 1,100 families in Muzaffarabad and 3,290 families in Bagh respectively which commenced on 17 January and was successfully completed by 6 February. Prior to the distribution, a rapid assessment of the immediate needs of the urban population still living in tents, not in the official camps, was carried out by the agencies.

'The winter relief distribution was very necessary,' explained General Nadeem, Deputy Chairman Earthquake Rehabilitation & Reconstruction Authority, 'People in the urban areas of Muzaffarabad and Bagh could not start reconstruction of their houses due to town planning and a temporary ban on construction. Families living in the tents with insufficient housing facilities had a tough time braving the extreme cold weather.' The affected families living in the camps were provided support by Government departments, NGOs and other charity organizations while this segment remained unattended and ignored.

Tahira Yasmeen, a beneficiary living in the Muzaffarbad city praising the efforts of the agencies said, 'Allah be praised, this initiative helped us through the harsh winter and saved my children from falling sick.'

Winter relief distribution was spearheaded in Bagh and Muzaffarabad by Mr. Sadaqat Gardezi, Administrator, Municipal Corporation (MC) Bagh and Mr. Zahid Amin, Chairman, Development Authority, Muzaffarabad (DAM) respectively and the organizations that provided the relief items included International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNICEF, Islamic Relief, World Vision, Concern, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), ADRA and Premiere Urgence (PU).

For further information and media assistance, please contact:

Raabya Amjad, Public Information Officer, Pakistan
UN - Resident Coordinator's Office, Sector F-7/2, Street 17, House 12, Islamabad; Tel: +92(0) 51 2655014; : + 92(0) 51 8255712; Mobile: +92 (0)301 8542442, Email: raabya.amjad@un.org.pk