News / Asia

Flood Emergency in Pakistan Not Over

Pakistani army rescuers pass a stranded truck as they search for flood survivors to evacuate from Khairpur Nathan Shah, 4 Sep 2010
Pakistani army rescuers pass a stranded truck as they search for flood survivors to evacuate from Khairpur Nathan Shah, 4 Sep 2010
Lisa Schlein

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is urging the international community not to turn its attention away from the crisis in flood-stricken Pakistan.  The UNHCR says the emergency is far from over and the survivors of these catastrophic floods will be in need of aid for a long time.

The UN refugee agency says the floodwaters in some parts of Pakistan are receding and more people are returning home.  Despite this, the agency says the overall humanitarian situation throughout the country remains serious.

Aid workers report conditions are worsening in the thousands of spontaneous settlements and camps that have sprung up over the last few weeks.  

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says the growing crisis in Balochistan province is of particular concern.  He says this area has received little attention compared to those closer to the Indus River.

He says floods still affect almost two million people there, including 600,000 who fled from neighboring Sindh.

"We are seeing a persistent threat of water borne diseases, shortages of shelter, and very limited quantities of food for children," said Edwards.  "In southern Sindh, where floodwaters hit Thatta and surrounding districts last week, thousands of families are now living on streets without water and sanitation.  According to the authorities about 20 percent of people displaced by floods in this area are returning to villages to salvage and protect what property they still have there."  

The UNHCR warns people returning home by boat will remain cut off until the waters recede further.  On the other hand, it notes the tens of thousands of people unable to return are expected to remain displaced for several months.  

In either case, UNHCR spokesman Edwards says there is an urgent need to improve conditions for the displaced and support people returning home.

"We are deploying additional staff to identify needs of the most vulnerable groups," added Edwards.  "Given the scale of the crisis and aid shortages we want to see better targeting of aid and more orderly mechanisms of distribution.  If you can understand the situation of all people, women are not best placed to run after trucks handing out aid.  We want to see improvements there."

As elsewhere in Pakistan, the UNHCR says it is stepping up its activities in Sindh.  It says it has opened new offices to manage operations in the south and north of the province.

The agency says it has deployed a number of experts to advise local Pakistani officials on the management and coordination of camps.  It says it is continuing the distribution of shelter supplies.

Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority estimates 1.25 million houses have been destroyed or damaged by the floods.  Aid agencies report more than five million people still are in desperate need of shelter.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid