Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced concern over the flood disaster in Pakistan and pledged the United Nations’ continued commitment to supporting the Government in its efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of the more than five million people in the affected areas.
Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement that the Secretary-General was particularly worried about the situation in the southern area of Sindh province where people are in urgent need of food, shelter, safe water and access to health services.
“Following the generous response of the international community to his appeal to assist Pakistan during the devastating floods of last year, the Secretary-General further calls for continued solidarity of the international community in support of disaster management and risk reduction in Pakistan,” said the statement.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) yesterday put the toll of death and destruction following the heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan at 230 people killed, more than 300,000 displaced and 1.1 million homes destroyed or damaged. Some 4.5 million acres farmland has been inundated, major roads damaged and water contaminated.
Last year, floods killed some 2,000 people in Pakistan and submerged about a fifth of the country, affecting 20 million people, as torrential rains sent swollen rivers cascading across the country from the mountainous north, inundating large swathes of low-lying areas all the way to the Arabian Sea.