UNDP continues support as new floods uproot Pakistan's south

19 Sep 2011

image Mukhtaree Bibi cooks food for her children under a tent. "Disasters do not distinguish when they hit the Hindus or Muslims," she said. "They hit us together, and we will also face it together." (Photo: Hira Hashmey/UNDP Pakistan)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has announced plans to step up efforts for those among 5.4 million people in Pakistan being hit by large scale floods for a second consecutive year.

Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan’s southern provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have so far destroyed one million homes and 72 percent of crops. Some of the land in these areas is still draining from last year’s flooding.

UNDP’s work, forming part of a UN US$357 million humanitarian response plan launched on Sunday, will aim to rebuild the livelihoods of those in worst affected areas, supporting the Government and affected communities with US$15 million in new projects based on an urgent assessment completed last week.

According to the assessment, unemployment is expected to rise among those affected during the coming 3-24 months and communities in five of Sindh province’s worst affected districts requested alternate ways of earning a living until the next cropping season.

In response, UNDP will start new cash-for-work projects to create employment opportunities for communities to take part in rebuilding public services and infrastructure and provide grants for local entrepreneurs to start small businesses. Projects will also provide shelter and activate disaster risk reduction plans.

Since August last year, more than 170,000 people have taken part in UNDP cash for work initiatives to rebuild critical community infrastructure following the 2010 floods that hit the lives of over 18 million people.

“One year after the largest floods in recent history, the people of Pakistan are in desperate need again. We cannot let them down," said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary General for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, launching the UN plan.