Increased international commitment to aid stricken Pakistan

Increased international commitment to aid stricken Pakistan

By staff writers
17 Aug 2010

The international soft loans affiliate, the World Bank has announced it will loan £574 milion to Pakistan to help it recover from its worst ever flooding.

It is now estimated that the devastating floods have affected up to 25 million people and left over 2,000 dead, according to UN and official figures.

The United Nations says that international aid has been slow in coming and that it has raised only a third of the £294 million needed for emergency relief.

Following criticism from relief agencies and from Britain, more countries have pledged money or increased pledges, including France, Germany and Japan among the G7 richest nations.

Meanwhile, UNESCO, which has an office in the capital, Islamabad, is closely monitoring the situation and working with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to ensure the most effective and rapid response.

As one of its first assistance measures, UNESCO is preparing to send a scientific mission to Pakistan to help national authorities upgrade their flood management capacity. The mission, which includes experts in geosciences and hydrology, will visit Islamabad and Lahore and meet members of the Federal Flood Commission (FFC), the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), as well as the UN and other organisations.

Discussions will cover such topics as the use of satellite images in flood mapping and evacuation plans, state-of-the-art computer models for flood forecasting, and the adaptation of training materials for current local needs.

UNESCO says it will will undertake a technical assessment mission to Moenjodaro as soon as the waters have receded, and also to the Historical Monuments at Makli (Thatta), inscribed on the List since 1981.

The remains of the city, capital of three successive dynasties, are close to the Indus delta in the province of Sind.

[Ekk/3]

Keywords: flood | monsoon | pakistan | world bank
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