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September 18, 2010

More funds, efforts needed to stem spiraling flood crisis, says Oxfam

World

AFP
September 18, 2010

Islamabad: The international community urgently needs to inject more funds and effort to stem a spiraling crisis in flood-hit Pakistan, international agency Oxfam said on Friday.
Oxfam warns of growing hunger and disease as only a fraction of the people that need help have it. Water and sanitation, one of the most important areas for disease prevention, has received only 37 percent of the funds it needs, while almost four million of those who need food aid have yet to receive it.
The UN appeal is set to be at least trebled, and will include immediate needs, but also cover longer-term support required to help people re-build their lives. Oxfam has called on all donors meeting in New York on Friday, to reach deep in their pockets, and provide the funds needed to boost the aid response, both now and for the future. Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director, who is visiting Pakistan, said: “This is a crisis of a truly epic scale and it’s far from over yet. If the people that need help do not receive it, then disease and hunger could spiral. We desperately need donors to step up to the plate and inject urgent funding. These people have lost so much, but they still could lose more. Even today, people are drinking dirty and contaminated water straight out of the Indus river. Soon, we will need to help them go home and restart their lives.”
According to UN reports, over 70 percent of the affected population lack access to safe drinking water, and more than 80 percent lack access to clean, functioning toilets. As a result, the number of reported cases of acute diarrhoea and skin diseases have more than trebled in the past three weeks, while the number of reported cases of acute respiratory infections have quadrupled.

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