More than 5 million still affected by floods in Pakistan

11/27/2011 08:25

WireUpdate:  NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) -- More than five million people are currently still being affected by this year's flooding in parts of Pakistan, requiring urgent humanitarian assistance, the United Nations (UN) said on Saturday.

Pakistan has been severely affected by floods for the second consecutive year, leaving more than five million people in need of safe drinking water, sanitation services, food, shelter materials and other essential support.

UN aid agencies along with the government of Pakistan found that of those five million, most of the affected are located in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. Half of those requiring assistance are women and children.

This year's rainfall and floods have destroyed nearly 800,000 homes and left many more displaced. UN World Food Program (WFP) spokesperson Gaëlle Sévenier said in Geneva that the agency has so far distributed food rations to more than 2.9 million people and requires another $70 million out of the $133 million it originally requested to finance its operations.

In addition, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that about one third of affected villages are still under water, and a large number of water sources have been contaminated. UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said the most urgent risks to children are those related to safe water and malnutrition, with malnutrition rates in the affected areas already found to be high before the floods began.

More than 300 people have been killed and many more have been injured as a result of the flooding in Pakistan this year, and some areas saw the worst rainfall since at least 1936.

In late July 2010, above-average heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions killed approximately 2,000 people and affected around 20 million others as floods covered about a fifth of the country. Torrential rains overflooded rivers, which went cascading across the country from the mountainous north, inundating successive regions until they reached the sea. It was the country's worst flooding in modern history.

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