News / Asia

    14 Million People Affected By Devastating Floods In Pakistan

    Flood relief camp in Nowshera, Pakistan, 9 Aug. 2010
    Flood relief camp in Nowshera, Pakistan, 9 Aug. 2010
    Lisa Schlein

    UN aid agencies say it is very difficult to meet the needs of millions of flood victims in Pakistan because of the huge scale of the disaster.  The agencies report 14 million people are affected and nearly half that number is in direct need of humanitarian assistance for their survival.

    UN and international aid agencies say Pakistan's flooding is testing both the government's and their ability to respond to the country's emergency.  

    They report thousands of villages and towns in low-lying areas have not seen flooding on this scale in generations.  

    Pakistan's Federal Flood Commission reports more than 300,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, more than 14,000 cattle have perished and 2.6 million acres of cropland are under water.  So far, about 1600 deaths have been confirmed.  But, this figure is expected to rise.  

    The UN refugee agency has been caring for millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan for years.  It's main relief work is in the north where flooding is the most severe.

    Given the enormity of the disaster, UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says the UNHCR now is working equally for all affected communities, both Pakistanis and Afghans.

    "Currently some routes are blocked, and in several places we are contending with difficult security conditions," Mahecic said. "When we deliver tents people may also lack dry land where they can put up these tents.  Among those caught in floods, there are many tenant farmers and also Afghan refugees living out on the inundated flood plains-indeed of the 1.7 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, 1.4 million reside in the worst hit areas.  Many people are now without shelter and have lost their food, livestock and all their possessions."   

    Mahecic say the UNHCR is working in coordination with the government, UN agencies and charities on the ground to provide the needed food, water, shelter, and medicine.

    He says his agency's stockpiles of relief items in Balochistan Province are nearly exhausted.  And, in parts of the Swat Valley, he says thousands of people in need of aid remain inaccessible.

    The World Food Program has been airlifting supplies to people trapped in villages cut off by road.  But, because of bad weather conditions, its helicopters were grounded for three days.  As a consequence some 600,000 people in the Swat Valley were cut off from assistance.  

    WFP spokeswoman, Emilia Casella, says the weather improved on Monday, so the relief helicopters are flying again.

    "So far, we now have been able to reach nearly 340,000 people with a one month food ration in the worst parts of the affected area," Casella said. "But, the situation still remains considerably difficult.  We are now targeting…up to six million people with food assistance as a result of the floods."   

    Casella says some of the people will need assistance for only a short period of time.  But, she says WFP expects about two million will likely need help for at least three months.

    On Wednesday, the U.N. Secretary-General will be appealing for hundreds of millions of dollars for U.N. humanitarian operations in Pakistan.  The World Food Program says it will request $150 million as part of that appeal.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora