Department for International Development
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Pakistan floods six months on: update on UK aid
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell yesterday said that people in the UK can be proud of the difference they are making to the lives of millions of people affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan.
This weekend marks six months since the floods first hit Pakistan, killing nearly two thousand people, destroying some 10,000 schools, two million homes, and hundreds of bridges, roads, electricity pylons. More than two million hectares of crops, an area the size of Wales, were destroyed or damaged, as well as one million farm animals and six million poultry lost.
The floods are the worst the world has ever recorded, with parts of southern Pakistan still under several feet of water – now stagnating and disease ridden. Water has receded in most areas however, and the vast majority of the 14 million people forced to flee from the floods have returned to what’s left of their homes, and started to try and rebuild their lives.
The UK was one of the first countries to respond and has helped millions of people affected by the floods by providing shelter, food, seeds, blankets, safe drinking water, toilets, medical care, hygiene kit, and more. In total the UK Government is providing, mainly via aid agencies:
Safe drinking water to 2.5 million people;
Tents and shelter for some 1.3 million people;
Toilets and sanitation for almost 500,000 people;
Food packages for more than one million people in flood affected areas, in addition to nutritional support for half a million malnourished young children and pregnant/breastfeeding women;
Wheat and vegetable seeds, fertiliser, animal stock feed, and veterinary services to more than 115,000 rural families to avoid further loss of animals and dependency on food aid for the next year or more;
Basic health care for around 2.3 million people;
Help for 200,000 children by repairing 1,500 schools damaged by the floods and providing 200 temporary facilities for children whose schools have been destroyed across Sindh and the Punjab, as well as accelerating a project to build forty schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa benefitting another 9,000 boys and girls;
Heath and hygiene education on how to avoid potentially fatal diseases for around one million people;
Help for around one million people in rural areas to earn a living by providing jobs, skills training, as well as farming tools, seeds, and animals so families can restart their farms;
Support to deliver 8,239 metric tonnes of food and other aid by UN helicopter airdrops, serving flood affected people across 160 different locations;
Twelve planes (five Royal Air Force) flown in packed full of emergency aid;
The UK Government also accelerated a project to provide new bridges to replace some of those destroyed by the floods; ten bridges were shipped over from the UK and are now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa;
UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said:
“Six months since the devastating floods first hit, people in the UK can be proud that we’re making a difference to the lives of millions of people affected by the floods in Pakistan.
“However, Pakistan still has a long way to go to recover; some areas of Sindh are still under water and hundreds of thousands of people are still living in temporary camps. Reconstructing the millions of homes, bridges, and schools that were destroyed will take years.
“That’s why we are continuing to help millions of people in Pakistan to rebuild their lives, providing health care for more than two million people to try to avoid a crisis like the one in Haiti, and helping to get hundreds of thousands of children back in to education.”
The floods are one of the largest disasters the world has seen. More people have been affected than the combined total of the 2004 Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami; 2005 Pakistan earthquake; 2005 Hurricane Katrina; and 2010 Haiti earthquake.
The UK Government has committed £134 million (18 billion rupees) to help people affected by the monsoon floods in Pakistan, of which £20 million (2.7 billion rupees) has still to be allocated and will be announced in coming months. The UK public has donated a further £68 million (more than 9.3 billion rupees) through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal. In addition, a £10 million (1.4 billion rupees) project to build bridges and schools destroyed by the floods has been brought forward.
The UK Government has also made previous contributions to the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Central Emergency Response Fund, and International Committee of the Red Cross.
People can track where and how UK aid is helping the survivors of floods in Pakistan here: www.dfid.gov.uk/pakistanfloodsmonitor2010