Relief for flood victims

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PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif, during his visit to Pir Guddu and Kot Diji flood-affected areas in Khairpur district, inspected the post-flood rehabilitation work and announced to construct houses for flood victims.

Addressing the flood victims, he said around five billion rupees will be spent on construction of houses for the flood affected people, adding that he would raise the issues of flood-hit people at the Geneva conference to be held in January.

The Federal Government surely deserves credit for its continued focus on the issue of genuine relief to the flood affected people and allocation of Rs.5 billion would go a long way in meeting shelter requirements for those whose houses have completely been wiped out during rain and flood.

The task assumes urgency in view of the ongoing winter as thousands of families are still living in miserable conditions in the midst of standing water.

According to a report by Sindh PDMA, an estimated two hundred thousand people remain displaced and those who have returned have returned to nothing including destroyed or damaged shelters and a complete lack of essential services like health, protection, education, water and sanitation, not to speak of sources of livelihood and schooling for children.

Shelter is a basic requirement as it would allow resumption of other activities like farming and business.

However, it is also a fact that five billion rupee is not enough in view of the devastation caused by floods and there is urgent need for the provincial governments and philanthropists to come forward and complement efforts of the Federal Government as foreign aid, even if it materialized at the end of the day, would take much time to become a reality.

It is also the responsibility of the media as well as local and foreign humanitarian agencies to keep attention on those who are battling for life in the face of multitudes of challenges.