Pakistan + 5 more

United Nations willing to provide up to $20 million for floods in South Asia

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(New York: 10 August 2007): The United Nations is offering to step up its support to governments across South Asia as they respond to the enormous needs created by floods from heavy monsoon rains. Floods in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh have affected over 45 million people, causing over 2,200 deaths and damaging over 4 million hectares of crops, according to respective government figures.

"We are willing to provide up to $20 million in support of flood-affected governments to address these devastating floods, and to boost in-country capacity for United Nations and humanitarian partner activities already underway," said John Holmes, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC).

Urgent needs include food, temporary shelter, medicine and mosquito nets. Some $4.4 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has already been allocated to Pakistan in response to heavy rain and flooding in July.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, some $2.2 million in emergency response funding has been approved to support the Government's efforts to assist flood-affected populations in the Mojana region and Córdoba department. Since January, floods and landslides caused by heavy rains affected more than 110,000 families in 28 out of the country's 32 departments. Over 500 houses were destroyed and 12,000 severely damaged. Some of the funding will be used to help provide food to those affected by the floods, and to restore clean water and sanitation in villages in Córdoba. The remaining funds will be used to build shelters for those whose homes were ruined by floods in the Mojana region.

As for Northern and Southern Sudan, around $2.7 million has so far been approved to assist flooded communities, after heavy rains struck in early July. The destruction of thousands of homes and loss of household livelihoods will be compounded by a potential for major disease outbreaks, both from contamination of drinking water and increases in water-borne diseases. An estimated 400,000 people are affected in both North and South Sudan.

Using those funds, the United Nations and implementing partners plan to provide seeds and tools for farmers, veterinary services for livestock and fishing equipment, to benefit 21,000 households in Southern Sudan and 126,000 people in Northern Sudan. Plans are also in place to supply basic household items to 30,000 households in Northern Sudan, including blankets, kitchen sets, and sleeping mats, and 25,000 malaria nets and health kits to around 100,000 people in Southern Sudan. Reproductive health services will be provided to 81,500 women affected by floods in Northern Sudan, including 10,600 estimated to be pregnant or lactating.

Since its launch in March 2006, the CERF has received more than $644 million. As of this month, paid contributions stand at $299 million. In its founding resolution, the General Assembly called for the grant component of the CERF to reach a funding level of $450 million by 2008.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Dizery Salim, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.