Winter brings more misery to millions of flood victims


More than two months after the August floods hit the southern Pakistan, millions of affected people are still at great risk as the winter season approaches fast, Fadlullah Wilmot, the country director of Islamic Relief Pakistan, said here on Wednesday.
Wilmot said the last monsoon floods affected the lives of over 9 million people, who had earlier faced the previous year’s floods of greater magnitude.
“Millions of homes in Sindh, the worst hit province of the country, have been destroyed or damaged. In its 2011 flood response programme, the Islamic Relief Pakistan, with an allocation of 10 million pounds, tried to address the early recovery, healthcare, livelihood, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the flood-affected population of Sindh,” he added.
He said the fast approaching winter season would bring more misery to those long-suffering people since the cold weather required adequate shelter and warm clothing for over 800,000 people, still displaced from their homes.
“Millions of flood-affected poor people, who have managed to find some sort of shelter need blankets and warm clothes to protect themselves against the harsh and cold conditions,” Wilmot voiced his concerns.
In addition to those mounting problems, he said, the funds raised, so far, had been extremely low.
“The UN has only managed to raise $96.5 million against its $357 million appeal. Aid agencies operations are also dangerously under-funded. It’s worrying how poor the response has been to the efforts to raise funds in the wake of this humanitarian crisis. Without adequate funds, we won’t be able to reach many of those affected by this year’s floods; particularly the vulnerable including women and children. We need more funds to do vital, lifesaving work,” he added.
He observed that the adequate nutrition was still a major problem in the flood-wreaked areas since at least thirteen districts of Sindh saw more than 67 per cent of their food stocks destroyed and 30 per cent of children suffering from severe malnutrition.
This time of the year, which is the sowing season for wheat, the land of hundreds of farmers is still inundated with the floodwater, he added.