Cities Alliance Members Mobilise to Respond to Flooding in Pakistan
Residential houses submerged in the Nowshera & Chasd Districts, after floods in Pakistan. Photo: UN-HABITAT
[3 September 2010] -- Over the past month, Pakistan has been devastated by monsoon flooding that has affected over one-fifth of the country and some 20 million people – more than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined.
The flooding has created a major humanitarian disaster, displacing millions and leaving an estimated 4.8 million people without shelter and at risk of disease and starvation.
Cities Alliance members are responding to the crisis in Pakistan, both by providing immediate humanitarian assistance and allocating funds for reconstruction and recovery.
Cities Alliance members have characteristically rallied their comparative advantages to support the humanitarian relief and mitigation efforts.
Please note that the figures are in US dollars and are based on United Nations reports or official statements from individual countries and/or organisations. The numbers are current as of 3 September 2010.
The European Union has mobilised 70 million euros ($89,448,800) in emergency relief assistance and is coordinating humanitarian aid to Pakistan from EU countries that are donating medical equipment, material for shelters and other relief items.
The World Bank has allocated $1 billion in flood-related support. The money will come from the Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, the International Development Association (IDA), which means that the loans are concessional and carry no interest payments. This funding is already programmed money for Pakistan that is being diverted to meet immediate needs.
UN-HABITAT has set up offices in the provinces of Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah and Azad Kashmir and has distributed 300 tents in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah. The agency is also conducting assessments in the affected areas to gather technical qualitative information on housing and settlement, and assessment teams will look at building performance and review good and bad practices in construction. They will also collect information on different damage types and patterns and share this information with relevant clusters and partners.
UNDP has provided dewatering pumps to help local governments drain water from cities and streets and helps support UN coordination efforts. The agency is currently laying the groundwork for recovery activities to help meet flood victims’ needs beyond immediate humanitarian requirements and to deliver basic services to their communities as early as possible in the immediate aftermath of the flood.
UNEP chief Achim Steiner has donated a $70,000 international leadership prize (the Tallberg Prize) to relief efforts in Pakistan. The cash will go to the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP), a national NGO which has mobilised a vital flood relief and rehabilitation effort for the affected communities in the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Province during the past weeks. The funds will be deployed with a focus on rehabilitation and reconstruction projects for communities returning to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Australia has contributed $35 million and provided a medical task force to support the United Nations and Pakistani Government in addressing address growing health concerns in Pakistan, including outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
Brazil has donated $1.2 million to relief efforts through the World Food Programme and UNHCR.
France has donated $ 2.4 million for food and emergency humanitarian aid. France has also airlifted emergency relief supplies into Pakistan, including tents, medical supplies, and water purification tablets.
Germany has donated $32 million in immediate relief assistance. In cordination with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Organisation for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Bank KfW Entwicklungsbank (Kfw) are providing emergency aid to Pakistan within the framework of existing projects. For example, GTZ’s health programme is supplying drinking-water filters and helping rebuild clinics and hospitals, and KfW is modifying financing for local infrastructure projects.
Italy has donated $3.6 million in relief aid. The country also actively supports initiatives to develop the rural and agricultural sector, which have been devastated by the floods.
The Netherlands has donated $11.6 million for the building of emergency shelters; the distribution of food packages to some 6 million people; food for children and mothers; clean drinking water; and sanitation. The Netherlands has a bilateral development cooperation partnership with Pakistan that focuses on alleviating poverty, education, gender equality, governance, environmental degradation, and water and sanitation.
Norway has donated around $19 million for urgent relief assistance that will be channeled through the UN. Norway also provides bilateral development aid to Pakistan that prioritises education, health and good governance.
South Africa has announced that its national cricket team will play a charity match against Pakistan in October 2010 to raise money for the victims of the flood.
Spain has provided $7 million in emergency relief assistance, which will be administered through the Spanish Red Cross and UN agencies. Spain also provides bilateral economic assistance to Pakistan and is a member of the Pakistan Development Forum, an international consortium focused on.
Sweden has provided $17 million in emergency relief aid that will be channeled through International Organisation for Migration (IOM), World Food Programme (WFP), OXFAM and Islamic Relief.
The United Kingdom has allocated $64.7 million to provide medicine, food, clean water and shelter for flood victims and brought forward a $15.3 million bridge project. Through the Department for International Development (DFID), the UK also has a bilateral aid programme in Pakistan that focuses on health, education, growth and governance.
The United States of America has announced a $200 million relief package for flood victims. This package includes funding for UN relief agencies including the WFP, air support to deliver supplies to Pakistan and rescue people trapped by the floods, as well as in-kind assistance in the form of halal meals, pre-fabricated steel bridges, and other infrastructure support.
Climate migration as a driver of slum growth
Climate-related disasters such as the recent floods in Pakistan can gradually impact urbanisation in a country and result in the proliferation of slums.
When floods, earthquakes and other disasters destroy livelihoods in rural areas – the 2010 floods alone destroyed 3.4 million hectares of crops – people often migrate to the cities in search of jobs, with many of them ending up in slums. An example is Bangladesh, where climate migration is already driving slum growth in the capital, Dhaka.
Although Pakistan is primarily a rural country, it is urbanising at a high rate of 3.3 percent a year. By 2030 around half of the country’s population – some 121 million people – will live in cities, according to United Nations estimates.