– As Pakistan’s southern Sindh province struggles to cope with some of the worst flooding in its history, IOM and its partners in the “cluster” of aid agencies providing emergency shelter have appealed to international donors for US$ 67 million to help at least 274,000 vulnerable families.
The appeal, which follows Pakistan’s urgent request for international assistance 10 days ago, is part of a broader consolidated UN appeal for US$ 357 for the next three months covering coordination, food security, health, logistics, shelter and non-food relief items, and water, sanitation and hygiene.
The Shelter Cluster, which is led by IOM, is appealing for funding for 26 projects submitted by six UN agencies, eight international NGOs and 11 local NGOs. The projects were selected from nearly 100 applications by the Cluster, in agreement with the UN and the government.
“These projects represent the minimum of international support that Pakistan needs to provide Sindh’s most desperate, flood-displaced families with the emergency shelter and other essential non-food relief items that they need to survive,” says IOM Emergency Advisor for Asia Brian Kelly.
“Nobody should underestimate the consequences for thousands of vulnerable communities, already weakened by last year’s floods, if the international community fails to respond adequately to this appeal,” he added.
The Shelter Cluster response, if funded, will complement the Pakistani government’s commitment to provide 150,000 tents for families displaced by the floods.
It will include tents, plastic sheets, ropes, tent poles, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen utensils and other life-saving survival items for at least 274,000 impoverished, displaced farming families, many of whom have lost all of what little they had to the flood waters.
Shelter experts recommend a mix of tents and plastic sheet-based shelter kits in emergencies. While tents can be better in camps in the short term, plastic sheet is cheaper, more versatile and can be more useful in the longer term, when displaced families return home and use it for waterproofing new shelters and rebuilt homes.
According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), some six million people in all 23 Sindh districts have now been affected by the floods. Some 1.39 houses have been damaged or destroyed, together with an estimated 2 million acres of crops, and at least 248 people have died.
An estimated 482,899 people are now living in some 2,737 makeshift temporary relief sites, including schools and public buildings, dotted across the province. Thousands of spontaneous sites where people are camped out on higher ground or on roadsides are yet to be counted. By some estimates the total could be close to 6,000.