Monday, August 02, 2010

UN and US rush supplies to flood hit Pakistan

The United States and the United Nations have been increasing their humanitarian efforts in response to the worst flooding to hit Pakistan in 80 years. The flooding, which saw 12" of rain fall in a 36 hour period, has killed an estimated 1500 people and uprooted over 3 million inhabitants. The flooding has washed out bridges and over burdened Pakistani resources to cope with the distaster, prompting sharp criticism from Pakistani residents who are gradually losing faith in their government.

The WFP has already deployed emergency rations to 3,000 families in some of the hardest hit regions, with plans to expand the emergency aid to benefit 150,000 families within the next few days. In addition to the aid that the UN is already supplying through its own programs and the WFP, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has also pledged ten million dollars through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was set up in 2006 to provide emergency aid to people affected by natural disasters.

The US has also responded to the disaster with assistance of its own. Four inflatable rescue boats and water filtration units that can fulfill the daily water requirements for 20,000 people are going to be used as part of the US assistance. In addition 50,000 halal meals (food that is allowed under Islamic law) and temporary infrastructure units are also going to be delivered.

-Matthew Thwaites