UN agencies, humanitarian partners providing aid following "worst floods" in Pakistan: UN

08:11, August 04, 2010      

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With Pakistan experiencing one of the "worst floods" leaving thousands of people awaiting rescue, United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners in the region are providing emergency aid, prioritizing those in the worst affected areas, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said in the United Nations Tuesday.

"The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA) says that the worst floods seen in Pakistan in living memory have devastated towns and villages across Pakistan, mainly in the north-west," Nesirky said in the United nations in a daily press briefing.

Thousands of people remain trapped by floods and still await rescue and evacuation by either boat or helicopter, he told reporters in the United Nations.

The World Food Program (WFP) has reached more than 40,000 people with life-saving rations, Nesirky said.

According to a WFP news release, the humanitarian agency is " scaling up emergency relief," and prioritizing the worst-affected areas.

Aiming to reach 250,000 people this week, WFP said they are preparing to "extend operations to other communities affected by the worst flooding in over 80 years."

"More distributions are due to start as WFP mobilizes staff to overcome immense logistical challenges," said Nesirky.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has given health kits and emergency medicines that are sufficient for an estimated 200,000 patients for one month, he said.

UN agencies such as the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) are providing safe drinking water through tankers to 700,000 people in the worst-affected areas, as well as people sheltering in schools and other spontaneous camps.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has distributed some 10,000 tents and other relief supplies to the two worst-hit provinces.

"It is trying to reach at least 250,000 of the most vulnerable people with shelter and essential items," Nesirky told reporters.

The Pakistan Emergency Fund, managed by OCHA, which currently contains 8 million U.S. dollars, has been activated to provide funding to partners.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that up to 10 million U.S. dollars can be provided by the Central Emergency Response Fund.

Source: Xinhua


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