UNDP launches US$120 million programme to help Pakistanis

01 Oct 2010

Islamabad, Pakistan ― The Government of Pakistan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched a US$120 million early recovery programme to help communities affected by the recent floods disaster to start to rebuild their lives.

The one-year programme, part of a broader UN emergency response plan, aims at restoring livelihoods through job creation, repairing basic community infrastructure, and strengthening local government offices to get public services running again.

“There is not a moment to lose. It is critical that winter crops are planted so that millions of farmers do not become dependent on food aid.  Jobs need to be created through cash-for-work schemes so that affected communities start to become self-reliant,” said Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Country Director. “Early recovery is crucial for the country’s long-term development.

The early recovery programme aims to revive livelihoods across 39 of the most affected districts by offering grants to 2,500 affected small and home-based businesses, providing agricultural goods, including seeds and fertilizers, and creating temporary work to repair roads, water facilities and protection walls.

The programme will also support efforts to restore basic and critical community infrastructure and services by creating 2,000 infrastructure projects, providing 2,000 solar-powered water pumps and building 5,000 disaster-proof houses.

It will also strengthen local governance institutions to give citizens greater access to public services, including legal aid, and recover and reissue damaged and lost records.

Heavy rain and heavy monsoon floods have inundated more than one fifth of the country since July, leaving more than 20 million people significantly affected, and over 1,800 dead. Some 70 percent of roads and bridges in the flooded areas were washed away, along with millions of homes and livelihoods.

“The experts and technologies required to start the rebuilding and recovery process are out there,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator.  “One of our main tasks is to bring together national and international partners to roll out strategic programmes that will immediately put this expertise and equipment to use for the benefit of flood victims.”

Community infrastructure ―including roads, bridges, and flood protection structures, and health, education and water facilities― have been damaged. Agricultural and cattle-grazing lands are covered with silt and farm equipment and storage facilities have been swept away. Small and home-based businesses have also been destroyed.

“We are very grateful for the response and we look forward to working closely with UNDP and other partners to return hope to the people of Pakistan,” said Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, Government of Pakistan. “This programme will help jumpstart early recovery projects to benefit the country’s most affected districts. The Government of Pakistan appreciates UNDP’s efforts and expresses hope that the international community will give full support to the early recovery programme.”

Contact Information

Mariyam Nawaz, Communication Assistant, Strategic Management Unit, UNDP Pakistan
4th Floor, Serena Office Complex, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-8255616 or Email: mariyam.nawaz@undp.org
Website: http://www.undp.org.pk