Move comes amid ‘second wave of death and destruction’
Reuters October 03, 2022
The United Nations has revised up its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold to $816 million from $160 million as it seeks to control a surge in water-borne diseases following the country’s worst floods in decades, an official said on Monday.
“We are now entering a second wave of death and destruction” Julien Harneis, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan said at a Geneva briefing.
“There will be an increase in child morbidity and it will be pretty terrible unless we act rapidly to support the government in increasing the provision of health, nutrition and water and sanitation services across the affected areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said that an up-scaled flash appeal would be jointly launched by Pakistan and the UN on October 4 in Geneva.
“Ministerial level participation from the Government of Pakistan will include Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, attending the event in person in Geneva, and Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar participating virtually from Islamabad.”
Also, the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) said on Monday that the country has entered the second phase of flood rehabilitation.
Read Pakistan in ‘second phase’ of dealing with flood aftermath: NFRCC
In a session chaired by NFRCC Deputy Chairperson Ahsan Iqbal and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chief Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz, the forum was apprised about the relief and rescue operations currently underway in the worst-hit areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
While no deaths were reported due to flood-related incidents across the country, the health ministry was directed to focus on numerous health challenges post-floods including dengue and water-borne diseases.
The deputy chairperson asked to focus on malnutrition of children and lactating mothers in the impacted areas, while also stressing the need to control epidemic diseases such as malaria and dengue, which have seen a significant increase in reporting.
Moreover, the forum was also informed of planned international flights coming in with relief goods, including donations by United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as trains from Turkey.
The forum was told that out of the nine trains that have thus far reached, relief goods from six have been distributed while three will be unloaded on Monday.
Construction of flood-resilient shelter homes was also discussed during the session as the proposed model village example gave a comprehensive plan of the structures that provided many families with shelter during the 2010 flooding.
During the session, the panel also overviewed the problems caused by a shortage of funds and the cost of logistics for rehabilitation and settlement of affectees.
The forum was also informed that a flood dashboard will be formally launched in the Prime Minister’s Office where PM Shehbaz Sharif will announce the operational functioning of the dashboard, which will entail all necessary flood-related details.
(With additional input from our correspondent in Islamabad)