Over 1mil flood victims need emergency aid: UN

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New York - The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says more than 1 million people might be in need of emergency assistance following the worst floods to hit Pakistan since 1929.

In addition to a rising number of deaths, injuries and displacement, there is major damage to housing, roads, bridges, infrastructure in general, and livelihoods, according to the UN.

In north-western Pakistan, the estimated number of those who have died now exceeds 1110.

At the weekend, a rapid assessment mission headed by Martin Mogwanja, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Pakistan, visited two north-western districts by helicopter, as there is no road accessibility to the districts.

The mission confirmed widespread damage and urgent humanitarian needs.

Access continues to be the main problem hampering relief efforts. Floods have damaged roads, bridges, and communications and utilities have also been damaged.

"The United Nations is working flat out to complement the assistance provided by the government," said John Holmes, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and the UN emergency relief coordinator.

"While we are still trying to get a full picture of the situation, we are also acting immediately on what we do know now to bring much needed relief to those affected.

"We are prepared to do so during the duration of this monsoon season if required," Holmes said.