Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Aid begins to flow to flood-ravaged Pakistan

France sends 70 tonnes of aid to flood-hit Pakistan
Paris (AFP) Aug 18, 2010 - France on Wednesday sent a plane loaded with 70 tonnes of aid to flood-hit Pakistan as part of a UN-backed international effort to help the country overcome the disaster, the foreign ministry said. The plane was expected in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi on Thursday. The shipment includes 35 tonnes of emergency equipment -- tarpaulin, cisterns, blankets, jerrycans and kitchen utensils -- as well as 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of water-purifying tablets and 200 makeshift shelters. The same flight also carried five tonnes of anti-cholera equipment for the Medecins du Monde aid group, six tonnes of water-purifying equipment for another medical help group and four tonnes of medicines.

France had already provided an initial one million euros (1.3 million dollars) to Pakistan. In a letter to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had said the country was prepared to use its military aircraft to help transport aid. Foreign aid has begun flowing to the 20 million victims but thousands remain without food or shelter. Monsoon rains were weakening Wednesday after three weeks of torrential rains brought devastating floods that have left at least 1,400 people dead. Survivors of the country's worst natural disaster have criticised the government's slow response.
by Staff Writers
Multan, Pakistan (AFP) Aug 18, 2010
Foreign aid has begun flowing to the 20 million victims of floods in Pakistan, but thousands remain without food or shelter as weather forecasts signalled there may be some let-up.

Monsoon systems were weakening after three weeks of torrential rains brought devastating floods that have left at least 1,400 people dead in the country's worst natural disaster, with survivors hitting out at the government's slow response.

The floods wiped out villages, farmland and infrastructure, and OCHA, the United Nations' aid coordination body, said that more than 650,000 homeless families were still without basic shelter.

At a camp for 3,000 displaced people in the south of Punjab province, most sat in crippling heat, batting away mosquitoes. Concerns were growing about cholera and typhoid, while many were suffering from stomach problems.

Half were children, an army official told AFP, with a few crammed into tents furnished with straw cots, while others were held back by soldiers as they attempted to reach medical and food supplies arriving by helicopter.

The UN last week launched an immediate appeal for 460 million dollars, and said Wednesday that funding had reached 54.5 percent of this target, though that included pledges that were yet to turn into cash.

The nuclear-armed country is on the frontline of the US-led fight against Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani military is locked in battle with Taliban in the northwest, on the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has warned that the disaster could play into the hands of insurgents.

US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, said: "We don't know what impact it's having on the insurgents... the idea that this flood would essentially come on top of a very corrosive insurgency is extremely worrisome."

Zamir Akram, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said the country had received more immediate relief aid through the UN and direct bilateral aid totalling about 301 million dollars (235 million euros).

The World Bank has also agreed to lend Islamabad 900 million dollars, warning that the disaster's impact on the economy was expected to be "huge" and would take years to put right.

The European Union announced that it would provide an additional 30 million euros (39 million dollars) in emergency relief assistance, bringing its total aid to 70 million euros.

In Washington, the State Department said US aid to Pakistan had reached around 90 million dollars, adding: "America's response to this tragic flood has been consistent with our humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan".

Islamabad has confirmed 1,475 deaths, but WHO representative Guido Sabatinelli told AFP he suspected the toll was much higher.

"We're talking about 20 million people affected today and there is no infrastructure and no health centres that can register the deaths," he said.

About six million people are deemed to be at risk of deadly water-borne diseases, with typhoid, hepatitis and cholera major concerns.

"Two million dollars are needed every day to provide water, this is not sustainable. We don't have two million dollars a day," said Daniel Toole, the regional director for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Ambassador Akram said reconstruction in northern areas alone could cost 2.5 billion dollars and said the floods had ravaged an area the size of England.

In Islamabad Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the government was worried about some half million expectant mothers among the flood victims, and was making plans for those who would give birth soon.

"Among 14 million affected people there are about 500,000 pregnant mothers and we plan to move to or near hospitals those who are expected to deliver within two weeks," Kaira said.

Kaira said the official toll of dead and injured, as well as the number of damaged houses, could rise once the floods began to recede.

"Total confirmed death toll is 1,475 and 2,052 people were wounded, and 970,520 houses were damaged. These numbers may change on the higher side as the flood water recedes and damage assessment begins."

Former Pakistani cricket hero and politician Imran Khan Wednesday, along with a leading newspaper group, launched a fund-raising campaign to aid the flood victims.

"People do not trust government, so we have come forward and every rupee donated for flood-hit people will be accounted for," Khan told a news conference in Islamabad.

earlier related report
Pakistan under water - a timeline
Islamabad (AFP) Aug 18, 2010 - Here is a timeline of events since devastating floods hit Pakistan on July 29, killing an estimated 1,400 people and leaving nearly 20 million affected, according to the Pakistani government.

A fifth of Pakistani territory has been affected by the catastrophe, the worst in the history of the country, which has wiped out whole villages.

- July 29: Flash floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains hit northwestern Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmir.

- August 2: The UN says that nearly 980,000 people have been left homeless or have been displaced.

- The Red Cross appeals for aid.

- August 4: Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani calls on his administration to speed up the delivery of aid. There is a growing backlash against the civilian government and President Asif Ali Zardari over failures to provide food, water and sanitation to the victims.

- August 6: Pakistan declares a red alert as the flooding worsens, reaching the south and leading to the evacuation of half a million people.

- The floods have affected 12 million people in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, the national disaster management agency says.

- August 7: Flooding in the south, notably in the densely populated province of Sindh, brings to 15 million the number affected across the country according to the local authorities.

- August 8: Landslides in Gilgit-Baltistan province in the far north.

- Gilani visits flood-hit areas of Sindh province.

- August 9: Around 13.8 million people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan, making the scale of the disaster worse than the 2004 tsunami, 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a UN official says.

- August 10: Six million people need humanitarian aid in order to survive, according to the UN.

- August 11: The UN appeals for 460 million dollars in emergency aid.

- The United States triples the number of helicopters helping Pakistan's flood relief effort.

- August 13: Aid agencies warn of a potential "second wave" of deaths due to disease.

- August 14: Gilani says 20 million people have been affected and the floods have destroyed standing crops and food stores worth billions of dollars.

- President Zardari makes his second visit to affected regions, after being heavily criticised for his absence.

- August 15: UN chief Ban Ki-moon pledges to speed up international during a visit to Pakistan.

- August 16: The United Nations warns that up to 3.5 million children are at risk from water-borne diseases.

- The World Bank says it has agreed to provide a 900-million-dollar loan to Pakistan.

- August 17: A senior World Health Organization official declares that the death toll is much higher than the 1,400 reported by the government.

- August 18: The European Union nearly doubles its aid to Pakistan to 90 million dollars as those affected continue to criticise their government.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Aid response to Pakistan floods inadequate
Islamabad, Pakistan (UPI) Aug 18, 2010
New flooding alerts have forced tens of thousands of people in the northwest Pakistani province of Singh to flee their homes, while aid response to the flood-ravaged country is still considered inadequate. The United Nations says 6 million people desperately need emergency aid, but most still have not yet received it. "What is clear is that we need a lot more and we need it quick ... read more

Aid begins to flow to flood-ravaged Pakistan

Aid response to Pakistan floods inadequate

Aid begins to flow to flood-ravaged Pakistan

Outside View: Pakistani SOS

"Fahrenheit 451" author burns at idea of digital books

Safer Plastics That Lock In Potentially Harmful Plasticizers

Power Problem With Insat-4B

Colorado Space Grant Consortium And LockMart To Develop CubeSat

How Algae 'Enslavement' Threatens Freshwater Bodies

Japan's Itochu to begin water-processing business in China

US researchers create frozen coral 'bank' to protect species

First Louisiana shrimp season since BP oil spill starts

Indonesian Ice Field May Be Gone In A Matter Of Years

Puzzle of Antarctic ice solved?

Giant Greenland iceberg a climate 'warning sign'

Arctic ice island poses no immediate threat, says discoverer

Russian food prices jump amid heatwave: official

Germans To Help With New Food Zapping Process

Greenhouse Gas Calculator Connects Farming Practices With Carbon Credits

Arsenic In Field Runoff Linked To Poultry Litter

More than 60 missing in latest China mudslides

GRIP 'Shakedown' Flight Planned Over Gulf Coast

More than 60 missing in latest China mudslides

New landslides in China leave 38 missing

Nigerian electric rates prompt review

Chinese-Rwandan military ties deepen

Two die as floods hit drought-stricken Niger

Senegal opponents protest bad governance, power cuts, floods

Growing Up Without Sibs Doesn't Hurt Social Skills

Oldest Evidence Of Stone Tool Use And Meat-Eating Among Human Ancestors

The Worst Impact Of Climate Change May Be How Humanity Reacts To It

Stone tools used by earliest 'butchers'

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement