UN appeals for $356 million to help flood-hit Pakistan

The Rapid Response Plan 2011 was launched by humanitarian coordinator of the UN Timo Pakkala at a ceremony in Islamabad on the appeal made by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari when he phoned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for generating funds to help the affected people, reported Xinhua.

The UN representative said the plan was initially to provide shelter, food, medicines and clean drinking water in the affected Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
Pakkala said this plan was for initial response to the needs and demands of the flood
victims and it will be reviewed after 45 days.

The UN has already started supply of food, shelter, medicines and other basic needs
of life to the flood affected areas without waiting for the funds to be generated, he said, adding that with the present resources of Pakistan government, only 30 percent of needed shelter could be provided to the homeless victims.

He said 1.8 million people have been displaced and 64 percent of people in the flood-hit areas are without clean drinking water while 67 percent of food stock had been destroyed.

Pakistan Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said on the occasion that heavy rainfall and floods have affected all 23 districts in Sindh and five districts in Balochistan.

She said at least 342 people were killed and 633 others injured in the floods while millions of people are vulnerable to different diseases, particularly acute respiratory infection, diarrhea and malaria.

She said: "More than 7.1 million people have been directly affected out of which 491,000 people have been accommodated in 2,618 relief camps."

As many as 1.3 million houses have been damaged and over 6 million acres of land, including 2 million acres cultivated land, have been submerged, she added.

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