Relief efforts gather pace

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THE growing coordination among federal and provincial governments as well as other relevant departments and institutions has resulted in significant improvement in rescue and relief operations across the country.

As international aid has started pouring in from different sources, the federal and provincial governments have also stepped up their efforts to reach out to the affected people in all parts of the country.

The announcement of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for Rs.10 billion for affected people in KP and provision of cash grant of Rs.25,000 per affected family on an immediate basis augurs well as it shows the authorities are carrying out relief activities without any political considerations.

KP Chief Minister, who, a day earlier, claimed he will not consult the Federal Government on the flood situation and relief operations, also toned down rhetoric on Wednesday when he said the provincial government would restore infrastructure and damaged power distribution network if the federal government failed to do so.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari accompanied by diplomats from more than 20 countries and representatives of international organizations Wednesday took an aerial view of the flood ravaged areas, so they could see for themselves the devastation caused in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the floods.

It is hoped that this first-hand knowledge would help evoke better response from the international community as far as relief and rehabilitation tasks are concerned.

It is also encouraging that some social welfare organizations are contributing their share by mobilizing resources and distributing aid among the affected people including those in remote areas.

The Punjab Government has taken a lead in announcing provision of Qarz-e-Hasna as livelihood support for affected families to help them stand on their own feet, which needs to be emulated by other governments.

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