News / Asia

WFP Seeks More Helicopters in Pakistan Flood Relief

TEXT SIZE - +

U.N. officials in Pakistan say they need more helicopters to reach about a million people cut off from aid nearly a month into the flood crisis.

U.N. officials in Pakistan say nearly a month into the country's widespread flooding, the situation is getting worse, rather than better.

Officials estimate 16.8 million people are affected, with at least 4.8 million in need of aid.

Marcus Perior with the World Food Program in Islamabad told reporters humanitarian workers need more helicopters to reach 800,000 people who are cut off from the rest of the country because of the destroyed infrastructure.

"We estimate, based on the areas and the number of people that we cannot reach by road currently, that we require at least 40 more heavy-lift helicopters to reach into those areas.  I must stress that this is a moving picture," said Perior.

Pakistan has deployed more than 80 helicopters, including some on loan from other countries, for the relief effort.

Perior said aid agencies expect to put five more into service by mid-week and that each one will be critical for the relief effort.

"Just to give you an idea, in one month, those five helicopters could reach 140,000 individuals with food and non-food items, but the needs are enormous," he said.

Saleem Rehmat, who is with the International Organization for Migration, says that as the flood waters head farther south, millions more are becoming displaced.

He points to the city of Sukkur in Sindh province as especially hard hit with 80 percent of its population homeless.

"In Sukkur's streets, people are sleeping in the open, along the roads, under the bridges, and people really need shelter [and] support for that," he said.

He says that so far, his agency has distributed enough tents and plastic sheeting to provide shelter for about one million people, and he expects the arrival of additional supplies to cover more than double that number.

The World Health Organization says the combination of living out in the open and inadequate water and sanitation has caused an increase of diarrhea incidents across the country.  WHO officials say they are working to set up treatment centers in the worst affected areas.

Meanwhile, Pakistan officials are scheduled to begin talks in Washington Monday with the International Monetary Fund, seeking to ease the terms of a $10 billion loan program the country agreed to in 2008.  The increased economic burden of Pakistan's worst floods in decades is prompting the effort to seek relief from the loan's terms.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid