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IOM to coordinate Emergency Shelter Relief for flood victims 

04 Augustus 2010 01:12:22

IOM to coordinate Emergency Shelter Relief for flood victims

International Organization of Migration (IOM) has agreed to coordinate the Emergency Shelter Cluster of relief agencies responding to the worst floods to hit Pakistan for 80 years, following a request from the UN Humanitarian Coordinator.

According to government estimates, the floods in the northwest of the country, which have affected some 1.5 million people, have already resulted in at least 1,100 deaths. Large areas of the country remain cut off and hundreds of villages have been inundated by the floodwaters.

“Tens of thousands of people have lost everything and are desperately in need of emergency shelter and other relief items. An effective response to a disaster of this scale depends on close coordination between all the humanitarian agencies involved and the government,” said IOM Pakistan’s Regional Representative Hassan Abdel Moneim Mostafa.

“IOM’s job as cluster lead is to make that coordination works as smoothly as possible – mapping the areas of greatest need by standardizing data collection, collating and analyzing the data, and then feeding it back to over 30 humanitarian agencies and the government to deliver the right aid to the right people in the right places,” he added.

According to the government, the worst affected districts currently include Peshawar, Charsadda, Kohistan, Shangla, Swat Valley, Nowshera, Upper and Lower Dir  in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Mianwali and Rajanpur in Punjab; Kohlu, Barkhan, Sibi, Bolan and Naseerabad in Balochistan; and the Upper Neelam Valley in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Abdel Moneim Mostafa, a veteran of IOM’s emergency shelter coordination following the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, in which 75,000 people died and 3.5 million were displaced, says that the magnitude of the disaster is already huge and may be growing.    

“The metrological department expects more rain this week, which may result in more flooding downstream in Sindh province (south of the affected area.) People are sheltering in public buildings and the government and humanitarian agencies are using what stocks of tents and relief supplies that they have. But much more help is going to be needed from the international community,” he says.

A joint government-UN assessment mission to Charsadda and Nowshera districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday, in which IOM participated, concluded that all 29 Union Councils of Charsadda and 30 Union Councils of Nowshera have been severely affected by the flooding. 

According to the UN and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in Charsadda, Nowshera, Peshawar and Mardan districts 238,000 families have been affected by the floods. Of these 137,000 need immediate shelter and other life-saving assistance.

IOM is currently procuring 100 family tents and 1,000 kitchen sets locally for distribution to destitute families in Charsadda and Nowshera.