Pakistan's flood-affected earn wages while rebuilding communities

Oct 19, 2010

Drains being built in Pashtoon Garhi
Bala, Nowshera District.
(Photo: UNDP)

Islamabad — Three months after the worst floods in Pakistan’s history began to sweep through the country, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations are continuing to support efforts for early recovery amid the large-scale destruction and suffering.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched job-creation initiatives at two locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province aimed at offering a means for affected populations to earn a living again and restart their lives while rebuilding their communities.

The cash-for-work initiatives in the districts of Charsada and Nowshera include removal of rubble from streets, drain construction, paving of roads, and debris disposal. Some 1,500 employees are working five days per week and receive the equivalent of between US$4.70 and US$7.00 for six hours’ labour.

One of 189 workers in the Nowshera community of Pashtoon Garhi Kandi Bala, 35-year-old Wahid Khan said: “The work allows me to buy food and clothes for my family. Without it, I don’t know what I would do. The project brings us hope and gives us a chance to look beyond the destruction.”

In addition to the initiatives in Charsada and Nowshera districts, UNDP is in the process of partnering with 18 national non-governmental organizations to expand early recovery programmes into other areas of the country.

Throughout the country, the floods have affected more than 20 million people, over 10 percent of Pakistan’s total population, and killed about 2,000, with damage or destruction to nearly 1.9 million homes in an area of at least 160,000 square kilometres.

The US$250,000 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cash-for-work programme is part of a one-year early recovery programme to restore livelihoods through job creation, repair basic community infrastructure, and strengthen local government offices to get public services running again.

“The cash-for-work projects are bringing immediate benefits to people and their communities,” said Rabia Khattak, Chief of UNDP’s Crisis Prevention and Early Recovery Unit. “But to succeed they have to reach many more people, and this requires sustained support from our national and international partners.”

Contact InformationIslamabad:
Ludmila Tiganu
Tel. +0301 8540364

New York:
Sebastian Naidoo
Tel: +1 212 906 6202

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