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Pakistan UN warns relief supplies for flood hit people could run out

30 September 2011The United Nations warned today that humanitarian agencies are running out of resources to assist those affected by floods in southern Pakistan, even as the need for clean water, food, shelter and medical services increase among the more than five million people in affected communities. Nearly two weeks ago, the UN and its partners launched the Pakistan Floods Rapid Response Plan to support the Government’s efforts to address the immediate needs of up to 5.4 million people for six months, but that funding request has received only $19 million of the $357 million needed.“Urgent relief is critical as families continue to suffer in the aftermath of the floods. Unless we receive new pledges to the Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan, millions of people will be left in need of food, clean water and essential medicines for months to come,” said Timo Pakkala, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan.“We are grateful that donors have started to give to the Rapid Response Plan. But to ensure that we can help save lives now as well as tomorrow, we call on the international community to urgently step up their support for the people of Pakistan through this Plan,” he added.Humanitarian agencies have food stocks to last a month, while safe drinking water and emergency shelter materials are expected to run out in weeks if not replenished, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA).“It is tragic to see families displaced from the floods with no shelter and barely enough to survive on,” said Fawad Hussein, the OCHA Team Leader for Flood Relief. “These families worry their children will go hungry, and without access to safe drinking water, they fear they will become sick from drinking contaminated water.”Pakistan has been severely affected by floods for the second consecutive year. The UN and its humanitarian partners have to date provided emergency shelter for 314,500 households and more than 1.6 million people have received medicines and medical consultations.More than 413,000 people have received food aid and the UN aims to double its support and provide up to 400,000 new beneficiaries with access to safe drinking water in the coming weeks.

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