Pakistanis continue to suffer from aftermath of devastating floods: UN

UNITED NATIONS : More than three months since the devastating floods began in Pakistan, the catastrophe is far from over, said a UN spokesman.

Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene remains challenging, with the flooding and standing water having led to a rise in water- and vector-borne diseases, Xinhua news agency quoted Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying on Friday.

Millions of people face increased food insecurity as families are returning home to destroyed houses, ruined crops, and dead livestock, he told a daily press briefing.

As winter begins to set in, with snow already affecting some areas, people affected by the floods are even more vulnerable and many need adequate shelter, food and winterization support, he said.

More than 5 million people remain displaced as the floods have affected 33 million people and caused destruction across the agricultural, health and education sectors, said Haq.

Food and livelihoods assistance has reached 4.1 million people, while 1.5 million people have received emergency shelter kits, blankets, bedding and kitchen sets.

UN humanitarians and partners have provided health assistance to 1.5 million people, while more than 1.7 million people have received clean water, he said.

“We are calling for additional funding to maintain the life-saving response. The $816 million humanitarian appeal launched by the UN and the government of Pakistan is currently just 21 per cent funded,” said the spokesman.

The catastrophic floods in Pakistan triggered by the torrential monsoon rain since June have so far claimed the lives 1,717 people and injured nearly 13,000 others.

Some 33 million people have been affected by the floods, while losses were estimated to be worth $30 billion. — IANS


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