Even as Pakistanis displaced by the devastating floods that hit their country this year continue streaming back to their homes, many of them destroyed by the deluge, the United Nations and its partners warned today that humanitarian needs remain enormous amid dwindling resources.
“Under-funding remains a challenge,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update, warning that with the food cluster facing a $237 million shortfall, food aid could run out next month, unless further contributions are received.
The shelter cluster has reported that emergency shelter materials have been distributed to 47 per cent of the estimated number of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed, but agencies will be unable to provide early recovery shelter to an estimated 800,000 homeless households.
In Sindh, people have continued to return to their villages as the flood waters recede and access improves, but some areas remain under water. Of the 4,800 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) identified in October, 325 are still open, accommodating roughly 130,000 people. There are, however, newly established camps or secondary displacement sites that have sprung up in areas of return, according to OCHA.
In Balochistan province, receding water has enabled people to move out of camps in several districts, but more than 4,300 families remain in camps.
With temperatures continuing to fall rapidly across the country, thousands of flood-affected households remain in need of “winterised” shelter and medical aid.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, the return of those displaced by conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) continues, but an estimated 170,000 families are unable to go back to FATA because of insecurity.
More than half a million vulnerable farming families affected by floods in KPK, Punjab and Balochistan have received seeds and fertilizers, OCHA said.
Floods that hit Pakistan following the onset on the monsoon rainfall in late July created one of the largest humanitarian crises the UN and its humanitarian partners have ever responded to.
The disaster claimed some 2,000 lives and left over 20 million others homeless and at risk of malnutrition and diseases. Millions lost livelihoods as flood waters swamped villages, towns and crops from north to south, damaging or destroying nearly 1.9 million homes.