UNHCR urges immediate support for millions caught in Pakistan floods
GENEVA – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today urged support for a massive scale-up in emergency relief for millions of people in Pakistan hit by monsoon floods that have already killed more than 1,000 people.
Over 30 million people in Pakistan have been affected by torrential rains and flash floods across the country, leaving 6.4 million people in need of immediate support. Since June, hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the floods, and are now living in camps, or with host families.
‘’Rain and floods have been catastrophic for millions of people. We urgently need global support and solidarity for Pakistan in these dire times,’’ said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Government of Pakistan initiated a response and appealed for international support as the floods have devastated many parts of the country.
‘’The international community must step up its support and help Pakistan’s response to this catastrophe,’’ Grandi said.
Pakistan is also home to some 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees and has been a generous refugee host for more than 40 years.
As part of a coordinated response under the leadership of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Committee (NDMA) and with other partners, UNHCR has delivered relief items in the worst hit areas of Balochistan and Khyber Paktunkhwa provinces.
So far, UNHCR has provided refugee villages, as well as host communities, with more than 71,000 emergency relief items, including tents, plastic tarpaulins, sanitary products, cooking stoves, blankets, solar lamps and sleeping mats. In addition, UNHCR delivered 10,000 sacks to help households build up defences around their homes. This assistance to date amounts to over US$1.5 million.
But much more aid is needed.
A UN funding appeal issued in support of the government-led response today is seeking around US$160 million to help over 5 million people in the worst-affected areas with food, education, shelter and protection among other things.
UNHCR has previously assisted local communities in Pakistan hit by the deadly earthquake in 2005 and major floods in 2010.
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