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Urgent Assistance Needed

Floods displace 5.3 million people in Pakistan

Muhammad Asad, eTN Pakistan  Sep 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (eTN) - In a second consecutive year, Pakistan has been hit by floods, and the latest government estimates put the number of people affected by the floods in Sindh Pakistan at 5.3 million, of which 1.7 million are in need of urgent assistance.

The flooding has claimed more than 200 lives and destroyed or damaged 1 million homes. Some 280,000 people who have been displaced by the floods are currently living in camps established by the government. Unofficial figures of effected people is 7 million, as the rains continue to fall in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.

"Many of those affected in this emergency were still recovering from last year's catastrophic floods. The people of Pakistan have already demonstrated their courage in a crisis and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the rest of the humanitarian community must do whatever can be done to support them now," said Mengesha Kebede, UNHCR's representative in Pakistan.

In many areas, urgent protection initiatives are needed. Children who have become separated from their families need to be traced and reunified. Vulnerable persons such as those with disabilities, female-headed households, and minority groups need to have full access to assistance without discrimination. Legal assistance is needed to help those who have lost valuable documentation in order to access their rights.

This emergency is also exacerbating existing protection problems such as child labor and exploitation, as well as domestic violence, indicating the need for psychosocial support to help people to cope in flood-ravaged areas.

Last year, around 20 million people were effected by the worst flooding in human history, which occurred in Pakistan.

Floods displace 5.3 million people in Pakistan
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