UN appeals for aid for flood victims in Tajikistan

08:33, May 20, 2010      

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The United Nations on Wednesday called on the international community to support the Tajik government's appeal for 5.3 million U.S. dollars to provide relief and recovery aid to thousands of victims of deadly floods in the south of the impoverished Central Asian country.

"The people hit by the flash floods in Tajikistan, already the poorest country of the 15 former Soviet republics, now count on international assistance to help restore their dignity and prevent them from falling even deeper into poverty," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Forty people were killed, 33 remain missing, at least 85 were severely injured, and some 4,500 were displaced when their houses were destroyed by the floods in the Kulyab region on May 7. Another 16,000 people in rural areas lost their livelihoods when their livestock were killed, crops destroyed and pastures buried under mud and rocks.

"Government and humanitarian partners in Tajikistan provided immediate relief from existing stocks. Now we count on the assistance of the international community to support the displaced people and the affected communities," UN Resident Coordinator Michael Jones said.

The appeal, announced on Wednesday, includes 26 projects proposed by UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide food and basic social services to the Kulyab tent camp residents, restore animal stocks and crop land in the surrounding districts, and provide disaster victims with basic household items. It also aims to restore drinking water and safe sanitation in the town of Kulyab and seven districts.

Immediately after the floods the government and aid agencies delivered lifesaving aid to the 4,500 displaced, who are currently staying in tent camps, including tents, food, safe water and emergency health care, but camp residents need further life- sustaining support for up to six months, reports said.



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