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

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora