UN launches appeal as aid reaches devastated communities in Pakistan

15:12, August 12, 2010      

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A couple wade through waist deep flood waters in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province August 11, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

More than 160,000 people have so far received UN's emergency shelter and relief assistance in flood affected areas of Pakistan as the organization launched an initial 41-million-U.S.-dollar appeal to meet the needs of more than 560, 000 people affected by the disaster, according to the UN refugee agency.

The targeted aid programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is aiming to help 80,000 families.

"The people of Pakistan urgently need the support of the international community," said Mengesha Kebede, UNHCR representative to Pakistan.

"The monsoon floods that swept across the land destroyed homes, farms, factories and entire livelihoods for millions of people," he said.

On Wednesday, UN humanitarian Chief John Holmes appealed for 460 million U.S. dollars in emergency aid for the flood-affected people in Pakistan.

As it was appealing for funds, four UNHCR trucks loaded with 500 all-weather family tents that had been trapped for a week by landslides finally reached the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday to help meet shelter needs of people in Balochistan Province who lost their homes due to the massive flooding.

A further five trucks that were part of the same convoy are expected to arrive in Quetta the next hours. In all UNHCR expects the supplies arriving in Quetta to help a further 20,000 people.

UNHCR is focusing its flood relief efforts mainly in northwest Khyber Paktunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, where it is assisting Pakistani communities, displaced persons due to conflict and long- time Afghan refugees.

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