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UN calls for some 357 million USD to help flood-hit Pakistan


08:43, September 20, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations has made an appeal for 356.7 million U.S. dollars to help the Pakistani government in providing vital assistance to more than five million people affected by massive flooding in the country's south, a UN spokesman said here Monday.

The appeal, called United Nations Rapid Response Plan for 2011, aims to provide food, water, sanitation, health and emergency shelters to the worst hit families in Pakistan's southern provinces of Sindh and Balochistan over the next six months, Martin Nesirky, the UN spokesman, told a press briefing here.

"More than five million people are struggling to survive massive flooding across southern Pakistan, and the rains continue to fall," said Valerie Amos, UN under-secretary-general for the coordination of humanitarian affairs. "The next few days will be crucial, as the UN and partners help the government to get food, safe water and shelter to the most vulnerable."

This year's monsoon rains and flooding have affected an estimated 5.4 million people in Sindh and Balochistan, destroyed nearly 1 million homes, and forced at least 824,000 people to flee their houses and move into make-shift settlements, reports said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA) warned that the humanitarian crisis is growing as rains continue to fall across the southern area of Pakistan.

The UN and its partners, who are supporting the primarily government-led emergency response efforts, have so far distributed more than 20,000 shelter kits and sets of household goods, as well as 530,000 plastic sheets, according to statistics from OCHA.

More than 650,000 people have received medicines and medical care, and 500,000 people will receive food aid by the end of September. The UN also aims to provide 400,000 people with access to safe drinking water over the coming days, OCHA said.

"One year after the largest floods in recent history, the people of Pakistan are in desperate need again. We cannot let them down," said Amos.

The plan came after last year's similar one in the wake of devastating floods in Pakistan that affected around 20 million people, resulted in some 2,000 deaths and overwhelmed about a fifth of the country.


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