A joint team from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, with support from the UN and wider humanitarian community, is to begin a needs assessment in Pakistan’s flood-hit provinces of Balochistan and Sindh on 24 July.
The area was devastated in late June by cyclone Yemyin, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and almost 300 dead.
“We are looking at long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation needs,” Peter Fedon, ADB mission country director, told IRIN in the capital, Islamabad, on 23 July.
“The devastation caused by the floods and cyclone Yemyin illuminate the fact that disaster preparedness has become a very important issue for Pakistan,” he said, adding that they were committed to working closely with the government to strengthen disaster preparedness.
“We realise that reconstruction should take into account the possibility of similar natural disasters in future,” he said.
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As part of the effort, 14 sectors would be examined, including the economy, governance, infrastructure, housing, livelihoods, water and sanitation, transport and telecommunications, energy, agriculture and irrigation, health, education, and social protection; as well as the environment.
“This information will prove very useful in better assisting those affected by this disaster,” a World Bank official in Islamabad said.
“This is an opportunity to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the reconstruction needs on the ground,” Ted Pearn, team leader of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC), referring to the assessment’s launch, said in Islamabad.
“The government has a fair handle on the situation now,” Pearn said, adding, however, that the priorities were still shelter, health, as well as water and sanitation.
Although initial assessments of the flood-hit areas were carried out jointly by the government and humanitarian community during the second week of July, the UNDAC official conceded that a more detailed assessment was needed.
The government-commissioned assessment comes on the heels of a US$38 million flash appeal launched by the UN on 18 July, aimed at supporting the Pakistani government’s efforts to address the key humanitarian needs of the affected population, with the priority on shelter, water and sanitation, health and early recovery activities.
Launched in Geneva, the appeal - the result of collaboration between the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the UN - covers humanitarian needs in the affected areas and proposes 83 projects in 12 clusters.
An estimated 2.5 million people were affected by flooding following four days of heavy rains after the cyclone struck southern Pakistan on 23 June, leaving 280 people dead, 186 missing and some 377,000 displaced or homeless – many of whom are currently living in schools, improvised roadside shelters, or with family and friends.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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