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ISLAMABAD: The United Nations’ Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) has allocated $7 million to help boost flood support in Pakistan.

According to a statement of the UN media office, the $7 million disbursement from the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), announced on Friday, will bolster response to the devastating monsoon floods in Pakistan, the worst in more than a decade.

The funding will help prevent waterborne diseases and epidemics, and provide nutrition supplements, clean water and reproductive health care for the most vulnerable people, as well as feed for livestock. The allocation was released by UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths, who is in Pakistan to support the response, the statement added.

“People in Pakistan are living through the world’s worst climate nightmare,” Griffiths said, adding that they have already endured a record-breaking heatwave that claimed many lives this year, and now catastrophic flooding. He added that people in Pakistan deserve climate justice, international solidarity and support from the world as they deal with this latest climate tragedy.

This latest allocation brings CERF support to $10 million, following a $3 million disbursement last month.

Last week, the UN launched a $160 million appeal to help Pakistan deal with the floods, which have killed some 1,400 people, including hundreds of children. Overall, some 33 million people have been affected, and access to many vulnerable communities is now cut off as hundreds of bridges and thousands of kilometres of roads were destroyed or washed away.

The floods have destroyed more than half a million homes and over 660,000 people are now living in camps. Many more are displaced in host communities.

Additionally, more than 750,000 livestock – a critical source of income for many families – have died. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) further reported that 1.2 million hectares of agricultural land in Sindh Province alone has been damaged.

Health workers warn that people and livestock affected by the floods are just days away from outbreaks of waterborne diseases and epidemics. The UN and humanitarian partners have so far supported the government’s response with food aid to more than 400,000 people and clean water to 55,000, in addition to supporting 51 mobile healthcare clinics.

The WFP continues to reach families affected by floods in Balochistan, Pakistan, to assess their needs ahead of food distribution drive.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) is ramping up emergency response to reach 1.9 million people across Pakistan.

Recovery and resilience support is now a top priority, the agency said, as families struggle to cope with the loss of homes, livestock and food, and the country grapples with the colossal damage to infrastructure, agricultural land and crops.

“The people of Pakistan not only need immediate assistance but also longer-term support to restore their livelihoods shattered by the floods,” said Rathi Palakrishnan, officer-in-charge and WFP Deputy Country Director.

WFP has so far distributed food assistance to more than 400,000 people in three provinces and continues to expand operations across the country. Specialized, nutritious food is being provided to 31,000 young children and 28,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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