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- Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: The United Nations (UN) and Pakistan, on Tuesday, jointly launched ‘Floods 2011 Early Recovery Framework’ for affected areas in Sindh and Balochistan.


They appealed for $440 million from international donors for the restoration of livelihoods, support for food security, basic social services, shelter, community infrastructure, health, nutrition, water and sanitation.


“We have put in place a financial tracking system to ensure transparent utilisation of resources and required information will be made available on the website” said Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan.


While answering a query, Pakkala said the latest appeal of $440 million is in addition to earlier flash appeal made by UN.


To another query about administrative cost incurred by UN for undertaking this early recovery program, the UN official replied that the administrative cost of this program would be standing in the range of 15 percent.


Some donors’ representatives raised the issue of “donors fatigue” and inquired about efforts being made to synergise new flood recovery appeal when the previous one for 2010 was not yet fully completed.


To this, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator said that the donors had utilised $1.3 billion for floods that hit Pakistan during 2010, but reminded that the floods in 2011 had affected 35 percent of the same population that had also been affected in 2010.


Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenues, Dr Hafeez Shaikh said the government has selected 15 distinguished personalities for undertaking the work related to flood affected areas to ensure effective check and balance.


“We are accountable to the parliament and independent media is also playing its role,” he added.


“We highly appreciate the unflinching support and assistance provided by the international community to the people of Pakistan, during these testing times. The United Nations agencies, foreign governments, donors, national and international NGOs, and private philanthropy all worked hand in glove with the national and provincial disaster management authorities and other relevant government agencies, while responding to immense needs in the affected areas,” Shaikh further said.


During the early recovery phase, the government, the United Nations and its partners will support communities by engaging in planning and exploring solutions to reduce the devastating impact of the 2011 floods, and helping communities to quickly return to a normal life pattern while adopting measures for safer and more resilient living with better preparation to meet the event of a disaster, he added.


The government is committed to ensure transparency in utilisation of funds in all activities related to the Framework, while at the same time, it will facilitate the international and humanitarian community for smooth execution of the framework, he said.


“The Floods Early Recovery Framework is a collaborative effort of the government, the UN and civil society to bridge relief to recovery.


It is critical that the international community support this effort to make communities safer, more resilient, and better prepared in the event of possible future flooding and other disasters,” said Pakkala.


An initial rapid response plan for the 2011 floods launched in September is currently funded at 47 percent, or $168 million, of the $356 million required to meet humanitarian and early recovery needs through March 2012.


The government, UN and its partners have delivered food for more than 3 million people, and provided emergency shelter to more than 450,000 households along with non-food household items.


More than 1.2 million people have received clean drinking water, and 1.35 million people have received essential medicines and emergency health care.


Further funding is critical, people are at still at risk – especially during this pivotal time where people have moved home and crucial early recovery activities are needed to restore livelihoods and rebuild lives, Pakkala said.