UN ROLE IN FLOOD DISASTER MANAGEMENT
S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Oct 10 - 16, 2011
One year ago, Pakistan was hit by unprecedented monsoon rains and floods. Across the country, the scope and scale of the crisis was exceptional, affecting the lives of over 18 million people, washing away houses and livelihoods, and forcing millions to flee from their homes. The crisis took the lives of a confirmed 1,980 people and left an estimated 14 million in need of humanitarian assistance. People of Pakistan have shown remarkable strength and resilience throughout the disaster, supporting each other to overcome extraordinary adversity.
During the early days of the disaster, the government and the international community worked together to provide relief to the millions of people in need of immediate support, relocating and evacuating the most vulnerable, setting up camps to provide assistance, and striving to access as many people as possible, displaced in scattered settlements throughout the flood-affected regions.
As the floods receded and people returned to their places of origin, many found their homes and livelihoods have been washed away. As relief continued in the worst affected areas, early recovery began, supporting communities to rebuild their homes and restore their livelihoods, also supporting local authorities to recover from the devastation so that they are able to assist the millions of people affected by the floods.
With a crisis of such magnitude, the response has been complicated and challenging, but it has also been successful as a result of collaboration, cooperation and coordination, with the government, the UN and other humanitarian actors working together to support millions of people affected by the floods.
The government, the UN and other humanitarian actors have also been working together to prepare in case of future floods, with the monsoon season already having started.
When the government, UN and other humanitarian actors were still working together to recover the country from last year's floods, yet another flooding occurred.
The UN is committed to support the people affected by the floods in Pakistan and has urged the international community to help early recovery.
In collaboration with national response efforts, the UN continues to support communities recovering from the destruction caused by the floods, and strives to bolster resilience to the risks of future flooding.
More than US$600 million is still needed to support relief activities and achieve the objectives set out in the floods response plan.
Tennis star, Aisamul Haq, announced a donation of USD10,000 for flood early recovery activities in Pakistan. The donation came from the Haq foundation and through funds contributed by the ATP world tour USA - the professional regulatory body of the game of tennis. UNDP is engaged in a village rehabilitation project for flood affectees. These villages were completely destroyed by the floods of 2010 after which UNDP is supporting the reconstruction of 198 houses, installation of solar powered street lights, rehabilitation of community infrastructure, and livelihoods and vocational training for females.
UNDP is also working across 22 worst-affected districts by restoring livelihoods through job creation, repairing basic community infrastructures and services, and strengthening local government offices to get public services running again. An estimated 915,000 people will be benefiting across 700 villages through UNDP's interventions.
More than 8.5 million persons have been displaced by floods 2011. The flood victims need food, shelter and clothing to face impending harsh winter. The floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Sindh caused an estimated loss of $7 billion to the agrarian economy of the country.
The government has already appealed for international help to cope up with the situation. Mishandling of relief funds, corruption and favoritism should be removed.
UN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS IN PAKISTAN
Duration September 2010 to August 2011 Budget USD120 million Locations 29 worst-hit districts across Sindh, Punjab, KPK, Balochistan, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan Donors Government of Japan, USAID, COFRA Foundation, Government of Italy, AusAid, European Union, and Government of Kuwait