UN agencies prepare to move from relief to reconstruction in Pakistani quake

28 February 2006

As United Nations agencies move from emergency relief to reconstruction in Pakistani regions devastated by last October’s earthquake, they are preparing an action plan to prevent an aid gap in the remaining winter period and to improve sanitation to prevent disease in the spring.

“The Action Plan will not be an extra appeal,” UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator Jan Vandemoortele said, giving an overview of the achievements of the relief efforts and the challenges that lie ahead in relation to the transition from relief to recovery and reconstruction, and a voluntary and informed return for displaced families.

“It will be a guideline for the donors to identify how and where to expend the money concretely.”

The Humanitarian Plan will cover a one year period from April 06 to April 07. Early recovery includes such activities as transitional shelter, restoration of livelihoods, psycho-social support, environmental rehabilitation, protection of vulnerable groups such as children, women and the landless, and the return of internally displaced people.

It also includes health and education services before permanent structures are rebuilt. The UN has assisted in opening some 900 schools in the earthquake area, enrolling over 100,000 children. It is also assisting with 150 prefab basic health units in the area, training of female staff, and disease early warning systems.

Relief operations may well continue beyond the next harvesting season in September and many survivors are likely to remain dependent upon food assistance. The quake killed more than 73,000 people, injured nearly 70,000 and left millions homeless.

 

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