ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank provided Rs261 million to Pakistan on Thursday to help the people affected by recent floods in Sindh and Balochistan.
The ADB emergency assistance from its Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund will help the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) ensure supply of food, drinking water, medicines and tents for the affected families, many already hit by the last year’s flood.“The ADB stands by the people of Pakistan in these difficult times. We hope that the grant will increase the NDMA’s ability to reach out to poor and the most vulnerable groups, particularly women and children, facing a desperate situation. Many families have lost their entire belongings and source of livelihood and are in urgent need of food and shelter,” said Dr Werner Liepach, ADB’s country director for Pakistan after signing an agreement with Abdul Wajid Rana, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division.
According to the United Nations, 5.4 million people have been affected by 2011 floods displacing 1.8 million others.
Initial estimates of the NDMA put the number of houses destroyed or partially damaged at 645,000 and 580,000, respectively. About 413 people have died and more than 700 have suffered injuries during the natural disaster.
“The ADB and the World Bank are jointly assessing the extent of damage. The assessment is expected to help the government and other partners in charting out an action plan to restore basic services and rebuild irrigation and flood protection structures so that affected families could resume their lives with peace of mind,” Dr Liepach said.
A joint UN-government detailed need assessment is also being carried out which, according to the OCHA, is expected to be completed within days.
Earlier this year, the ADB provided a $650 million loan to Pakistan for reconstruction of vital infrastructure damaged by devastating floods in 2010. The Flood Emergency Reconstruction Project (FERP) is rebuilding national and provincial road networks, irrigation systems and flood protection structures and rehabilitating economic activities.
The FERP includes reconstruction of 793km of national highways and bridges and about 800km of provincial road networks to multiple hazard-resistant standards, improving agriculture land by restoring and strengthening flood protection embankments, rehabilitating canals, etc.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only 22 per cent of the assessed funding requirements have been received so far against the Rapid Response Plan launched in September.
Needs were increasing with the onset of winter, outbreak of diseases and the beginning of the Rabi planting season.
The European Commission, leading 24 countries and organisations, has announced pledges for the flash appeal launched by the United Nations, disbursing about 32 per cent of the pledged donation.