As Pakistan’s response to the floods of July 2010 moves from relief to early recovery, the focus of assistance will be towards rebuilding livelihoods, rehabilitating basic and critical physical infrastructure, restoring health, education and water and sanitation services while targeting the most vulnerable and marginalized across the flood-affected districts. Approximately 20 million people and an area of 100,000 sq km was adversely affected with 1.6 million houses damaged/destroyed in last year’s floods.At the conclusion of the relief phase in most of the flood-affected areas in January this year, with residual relief also coming to an end on 15th April in 5 districts of Sindh and Balochistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the UN and other development partners established an Early Recovery Working Group (ERWG) which is jointly chaired by NDMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and will coordinate Early Recovery(ER) with a focus on 29 most-affected districts till end December.
Chairman NDMA Lt. General (Retd.) Nadeem Ahmed and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Timo Pakkala unveiled the Strategic Early Recovery Action Plan today emphasizing that it aims to address a critical gap and smooth transition in coverage between humanitarian relief and long-term recovery—between reliance and self-sufficiency.
The Plan constitutes 8 key sectoral and 4 thematic working groups. These include Food and Agriculture, Health and Nutrition, Education, Water and Sanitation, Housing, Governance, Non-Farm Livelihoods, and Community Infrastructure. The 4 thematic groups will ensure that Environment, Protection, Disaster Risk Reduction and Gender considerations are mainstreamed across the main sectors.
The mapping and gap analysis for ER shows that the overall needs of the affected population stand in excess of US$ 1 billion of which 40 % has been realized. The ERWG, however, has prioritized the needs of the most vulnerable and the funding gap for responding to these critical needs is US $ 610.353 million.
Chairman NDMA, Lt. General (Retd.) Nadeem Ahmed said, ‘the gap analysis and planned activities in this Plan remain within the range of the Revised Pakistan Floods Relief and Early Recovery Response Plan and highlights critical needs. The remaining funds from the relief phase must be redirected to prioritized ER sectors to enable the affected communities to rebuild their lives’.
“The transition from relief to long-term recovery is a major challenge for any post-crisis country. This Plan is a collaborative effort of the government and the Humanitarian Community to bridge this gap and it is critical that the international community supports this effort both technically and financially’ said Timo Pakkala, Humanitarian Coordinator’’.
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Mehreen Saeed, Communication Analyst, UNDP Pakistan