New York, Sep 18 (DPA) The UN Friday appealed for an additional $1.6 billion to assist an estimated 14 million Pakistanis whose living conditions, from food to shelter, have been severely affected by the country’s worst-ever natural disaster.
The UN already asked for nearly $460 million Aug 11 to meet the urgent humanitarian demands in Pakistan, and about 80 percent of that appeal has been met. The new appeal raised the total aid needed to more than $2 billion.
The revised figure sought by the UN reflected the massive damage caused by floods and came two months after severe flooding began ravaging the country along the Indus river, which was exacerbated by seasonal rains. The UN said Pakistan is facing the largest disaster in its history.
The UN said the $2 billion will cover 483 projects to be implemented by 15 UN organisations, the International Organisation of Migration and 156 non-governmental organisations.
‘We are seeing the equivalent of a new disaster every few days in Pakistan,’ said Valerie Amos, the new UN humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator. ‘Our task is to give people the help they need.’
Amos said new breeches this week of the embankments of Manchhar lake in Sindh province flooded more villages, adding more homeless people to the estimated 20 million people already affected by floods.
In addition to the UN appeals, Pakistan has received direct assistance from governments, which contributed more than $5 billion this year to Pakistan, Amos said.
The humanitarian affairs office in New York said the size of the revised appeal was in response to ‘the enormous human and geographic scale of the catastrophe, and the necessity of putting into place the right kind of early recovery, including projects in agriculture, community restoration, education, health and shelter’.
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