Needs still urgent as flood-hit Pakistan starts to rebuild

Jan 28, 2011

Rebuilding basic infrastructure
with involvement of communities.
(Photo: UNDP Pakistan)

New York – While needs are still urgent for millions whose lives and livelihoods were ruined by flooding across Pakistan six months ago, hundreds of thousands are working to transform their futures through a range of public, agricultural and enterprise projects put into action through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The epic floods that affected 18 million people across one fifth of Pakistan in July, August and September last year have been described as the worst ever recorded and parts of southern Pakistan are still under several feet of water.

With its long-standing and extensive presence in the country and the financial support of a range of partners, UNDP was able to rapidly shift existing priorities as well as launch a series of new projects to help communities in the worst-affected areas start to rebuild their lives.

More than one million people in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Paktunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan are benefiting directly from projects to support the first stages in their recovery.

In Punjab province, UNDP has distributed more than 7,000 packages of wheat and barley seed and fertilizer to farmers whose land and equipment were destroyed in the floods. Tens of thousands of farmers in the province’s south are also receiving salaries through UNDP as part of a project to repair damaged roadways that link farming villages with local markets.

Also in southern Punjab, more than 1,000 women have teamed up under a UNDP project to clear debris from public buildings, fields and private residences. They receive US$176 for 50 days of work, and many are using the income as start-up funds for small businesses.

In Gilgit-Baltistan the first of thousands of families have moved out of temporary camps and into disaster-proof houses that homeless people themselves helped to build. About 10,000 people in Gilgit-Baltistan and neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will benefit from the UNDP shelter project.

Across all these areas, thousands have used the services of UNDP mobile one-stop shops for free legal advice about obtaining replacement identity papers and other documents necessary as the first step in making claims for assistance.

In all these initiatives, UNDP has based its actions on detailed needs assessments and partnered with the Government of Pakistan and other national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

UNDP is working directly with 17 non-governmental organizations during the coming months in 20 of the worst-affected districts of the flooded provinces to continue supporting community-level initiatives for early recovery.

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