Flood victims and winter



THE arrival of winter has intensified the needs of more than 20 million flood victims in Pakistan, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at a news briefing while reminding the international community that more resources are urgently needed to deal with this humanitarian crisis.

With each passing day, the winter is becoming intense in flood affected areas and those still living in open or even the tent settlements are in need of warm clothes, blanket and quilts.

The flood crisis is far from over and any delay in provision of winter packs to them will put lives of millions of people in danger.

The way the UN and its Secretary General have highlighted the plight of Pakistani flood victims is really appreciable but international aid is not forthcoming at this critical moment as it should have been.

For instance, out of UN’s flash appeal of $816m, only twenty three percent to date has been received. The scale is so big that Pakistan on its own cannot cater to the requirements of flood victims that are still dependent on humanitarian aid.

It is responsibility of international community to respond generously to the UN’s flash appeal and save the flood victims from dying due to extreme cold conditions.

We believe that government should also not have closed down National Flood Response and Coordination Centre that was doing a remarkable work to provide immediate aid to flood victims.

We will suggest that a new institutional platform should be put in place at the earliest, which should not only look after provision of winter packs to those in distress but also oversee the reconstruction phase that needs to be completed in a given time frame.

Reconstruction is a humongous task and the government has rightly been emphasising for climate justice to rebuild a climate resilient infrastructure in order to reduce the impact of such disasters in future.

It will be seen at the donor conference whether the world community genuinely delivers the justice, but either anybody supports us or not, we should re-appropriate our resources to the rehabilitation of flood victims. Philanthropists and overseas Pakistanis should also contribute in this cause.