Pakistani flood victims not out of danger warns UN as it calls

31 August 2007An estimated 250,000 Pakistanis still face a critical humanitarian situation, more than two months after a cyclone and torrential rains brought floods to the South Asian country, United Nations aid agencies warned today as they urged donors to contribute more to their emergency appeal. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson Elizabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva that donors have provided only 20 per cent of the $38 million which UN aid agencies requested on 18 July in their flash appeal for Pakistan. “A lot of aid has been distributed to the affected people, but it is not enough,” Ms. Byrs said, referring to the 2.5 million people in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of southern Pakistan who were estimated to need assistance in the wake of the floods. She said about 250,000 people face a critical situation because floodwaters have not yet receded in many areas and extensive tracts of farmland remain under water. Many displaced people are living in makeshift roadside settlements and public buildings such as schools. The crisis began when Cyclone Yemyin struck Pakistan in late June, causing at least 300 deaths and hundreds of injuries and disrupting commercial activity in many areas, including the major city of Karachi, for days. Pakistan is not the only South Asian nation to have suffered from the effects of floods this year, with Nepal also hard hit. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported in its latest bulletin that floods and landslides have killed more than 146 people, displaced over 22,000 families and affected some 467,000 people in 47 districts. WHO is one of several UN aid agencies providing relief to the Nepalese. read more