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Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

Pakistan: UN scales up financial and other support after ‘latest climate tragedy’

A $7 million disbursement from the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), announced on Friday, will bolster response to the devastating monsoon floods in Pakistan, the worst in more than a decade.

The funding will help prevent waterborne diseases and epidemics, and provide nutrition supplements, clean water and reproductive health care for the most vulnerable people, as well as feed for livestock.

The allocation was released by UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths, who is in Pakistan to support the response.

Solidarity and support


“People in Pakistan are living through the world’s worst climate nightmare,” he said.

“They have already endured a record-breaking heatwave that claimed many lives this year, and now catastrophic flooding. People in Pakistan deserve climate justice, international solidarity and support from the world as they deal with this latest climate tragedy”.

This latest allocation brings CERF support to $10 million, following a $3 million disbursement last month.

Last week, the UN launched a $160 million appeal to help Pakistan deal with the floods, which have killed some 1,400 people, including hundreds of children.

Millions affected, livestock lost


Overall, some 33 million people have been affected, and access to many vulnerable communities is now cut off as hundreds of bridges and thousands of kilometers of roads were destroyed or washed away.

The floods have destroyed more than half a million homes and over 660,000 people are now living in camps. Many more are displaced in host communities.

Additionally, more than 750,000 livestock — a critical source of income for many families — have died. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) further reported that 1.2 million hectares of agricultural land in Sindh Province alone has been damaged.

Disease outbreak fears


 Health workers warn that people and livestock affected by the floods are just days away from outbreaks of waterborne diseases and epidemics.

The UN and humanitarian partners have so far supported the government’s response with food aid to more than 400,000 people and clean water to 55,000, in addition to supporting 51 mobile healthcare clinics.

Recovery and resilience


Meanwhile, the World Food Program (WFP) is ramping up emergency response to reach 1.9 million people across Pakistan.

Recovery and resilience support is now a top priority, the agency said, as families struggle to cope with the loss of homes, livestock and food, and the country grapples with the colossal damage to infrastructure, agricultural land and crops.

“The people of Pakistan not only need immediate assistance but also longer-term support to restore their livelihoods shattered by the floods,” said Rathi Palakrishnan, officer-in-charge and WFP Deputy Country Director.

Food and logistical support


WFP has so far distributed food assistance to more than 400,000 people in three provinces and continues to expand operations across the country.

Specialized, nutritious food is being provided to 31,000 young children and 28,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The agency is also reinforcing the government’s logistical capacity to ensure no disruptions to humanitarian supply chains.

Once the initial relief response is concluded, WFP will immediately implement recovery programs to improve community infrastructure, create livelihoods opportunities and boost resilience, combined with cash-based transfers, through early next year.

The scale-up requires $152 million, up from the $34 million originally planned as part of the UN appeal.

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