PM announces Rs 2.6b for food, infrastructure in flood-hit areas


Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Sunday announced an initial package of Rs 2.6 billion to support the flood-affected people of Balochistan and rehabilitate the canal system.
Addressing a public gathering, he announced compensation worth Rs 0.4 million each for the families of those who had lost their lives in the flood.
The prime minister directed for immediate release of Rs 600 million to cope with food needs of three flood-hit districts.
“The government will try its utmost to cope with the situation through well-coordinated efforts,” he added.
He said after rescue and relief effort, foremost priority should be the rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure that had been badly damaged by the floods. The whole area is under water, he added.
He said that the federal government would initially release Rs 2 billion for infrastructure rehabilitation.
Ashraf directed the National Disaster Management Authority to arrange 20,000 tents immediately, instead of 10,000 as planned by NHA to provide shelter to homeless people.
He said the number of tents should be increased in accordance with the requirements, and assured the people that the federal government would provide funds without any delay.
He praised the efforts of the Balochistan government as well as army troops for their rescue efforts.
“We will neither politicize it nor will make any tall claim. The only priority is to reach the flood-affected people at all costs,” said the prime minister.
He said the Balochistan chief secretary would continue to apprise the federal government about the needs of flood-hit people so that the government may respond accordingly.
The prime minister said floods had caused devastation at a large scale in several areas, including Rajanpur, Jacobabad and Shikarpur. However the government would cope with the challenge using all its resources, he added. He said it was suggested to give a call for help to international community but he decided that the government would first exploit its own resources.
“The world also questions as what you have done from your own,” he added.