The consequences of the floods in Pakistan is as heavy as the famine in Africa, says UN

According to the report of the United Nations, "a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions" is progressing in areas affected by flooding southern Pakistan, where the degree of malnutrition in competition with those African countries where famine. In the province of Sindh Some villages are still under water six months after floods, almost a quarter of children under five are malnourished, while 6% were severe hunger, according to a survey.


"I have never seen such a heavy food shortages since the famine in Ethiopia, Darfur and Chad. This is shocking, "- said Karen Allen, deputy head of UNICEF in Pakistan.


This survey reflects the continuing influence of powerful August floods, which affected 20 million people in an area comparable in size to Britain, resulting in the destruction of 2.2 million hectares of farmland.


"The numbers are frightening," — said Neva Khan of the organization Oxfam. — "Emergency assistance immediately after a disaster has saved many lives, but looking at these numbers, we know that millions of people are still in grave danger."


Kristen Elsbi, a spokesman for UNICEF, called the situation "a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions." But the figures also reveal a more important fact — in Sindh, a backward province, where poor peasants Brokeback to the powerful landowners, has long been one of the worst levels of poverty in South Asia.


"This does not happen overnight. This suggests a deep, slowly developing impoverishment "- says Dorothy Blaine from the organization Concern.


A recent study in Pakistan in 2002 found 13.2% of the level of malnutrition in the country. Survey of 786 households conducted jointly by the UN, aid agencies and the government recorded a 23.1% rate of malnutrition in northern Sindh and 21.2% in the south of the province.


The survey was conducted in 2010 at the beginning of November, but the Pakistani government did not dare to publish the results and delayed the publication, as shown by some representatives of humanitarian organizations. Results for the Southern Pindzhabu also badly affected, are still in the process of treatment.




Sindh — the third largest and the first to break the standard of living of the population province of Pakistan. Karachi is a bustling business center with a population of 16 million. At the same time, rural feudalism prevails, rampant illiteracy and lack of representative government.


Physicians from the refugee camps, home to victims from the villages of Sindh, reported that some pregnant women have never seen a doctor.


Across Pakistan, most of the 14 million people who have fled their homes, are gradually returning to normal. According to UNHCR, only about 166,000 people are still living in 240 camps, while in October the figure was 3.3 million.


A significant part of Western aid was given to the scheme of direct cash payments to victims, since 150 pounds. Some believe that such schemes are more subject to corruption.


Britain has donated 114 million pounds, which went to shelter for 1.3 million people, and clean water to 2.5 million. Despite this, the money is still needed and needed urgently. UN calls for raising $ 2 billion needed for the survival of the people before the upcoming summer, yet has only 56% of the amount.


Western aid to floods spread to north-western Pakistan, where an earthquake in 2005 and the military operations against the Taliban moved from their homes, millions of people. After the flood aid organizations have begun to recognize that they were caught off guard by the situation in Sindh.


Some villages in northern Sindh are still under water, and where the water is gone, destroyed irrigation systems, which raised serious concern about the upcoming harvest.


Generally, it is not only the problems of food and shelter. A huge number of children in the affected areas are afraid, depressed, suffer from phobias, said the organization "Save the Children". Of all the children surveyed, 70% indicated fear of people, water, open spaces and darkness.



Translation: Vitaly Semkin

Source: Guardian


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