SEHWAN: A displaced girl carries a bottle of water filled with stagnant floodwater, as she makes her way to the displaced family’s tent in a camp, set up by the Al-Khidmat Foundation.—Reuters
SEHWAN: A displaced girl carries a bottle of water filled with stagnant floodwater, as she makes her way to the displaced family’s tent in a camp, set up by the Al-Khidmat Foundation.—Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The United Nat­ions and Pakistan will present a rev­ised appeal for the ‘Floods Response Plan’ in Geneva on Tuesday (today), seeking $816 million to control a surge in water-borne diseases following the country’s worst floods in decades, the UN resident coordinator for Pakistan announced on Monday.

During a press briefing in Geneva, Julien Harneis said, “We are now entering into a second wave of deaths and destruction with the wave of diseases — malaria, dengue, skin diseases, cabbies and acute malnutrition.

“There will be an increase in child morbidity and it will be pretty terrible unless we act rapidly to support the government in increasing the provision of health, nutrition and water and sanitation services across the affected areas.”

The wide-scale flooding of the country resulted in health and nutrition crises. Peo­ple are defecating in the water and drinking the same and children washing in these waters, a situation that is driver of illness and diseases at a time when 1,700 health facilities and hospitals have been destroyed or damaged.

The UN humanitarian coordinator said that food security has become a very significant challenge along with nutrition as WFP and FAO has estimated that the number of food insecured people may rise to 7.2 million.

A statement from the Foreign Office on Monday said the flash appeal had been upscaled “on the basis of updated on-ground needs ass­e­ssment”, and would be unveiled jointly by the Pakistani government and the UN in Geneva on Tuesday.

Ministerial level participation includes Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, while Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will be participating virtually from Islamabad.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and Director General World Health Organisation Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will represent the UN, along with Mr Harneis, the UNRC in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2022

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