Karachi, 20 February 2011—Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), visited Sindh today, the southern province of Pakistan, and the region most affected by the unprecedented floods which tore through this area last July.
In Sindh, Helen Clark visited the city of Khairpur Nathan Shah and the village of Bagho Teweno in the Dadu districts, where a UNDP programme, with funds from Japan, helps pump out stagnant flood water and clean up the waste debris. This work will be critical in preventing the spread of epidemics and disease in the warmer months ahead.
Helen Clark met women heads of household, whose homes were washed away by the floods, and presented them with ownership certificates for their new homes. These houses have solar lanterns and solar water heaters while communal places are lit by solar street lights. They were built by local communities though cash-for-work schemes, which offer a means for people to earn a living again while rebuilding their communities.
“It is a privilege to be able to support people to rebuild their homes and livelihoods after those devastating floods,” Helen Clark said. “Much remains to be done. It is important to continue to support Pakistan’s recovery.”
Shama Bibi, mother of five and a proud owner of her new house said, “This house is spacious and well built. It will last us many years.”
The floods have affected more than 18 million people, more than ten percent of Pakistan’s population. Seven million people were affected in Sindh province alone.
As part of its early recovery programme, UNDP is helping Sindh and other flood-affected areas revive livelihoods and basic infrastructure through job creation, and strengthening of local government offices.
During her visit to Pakistan, Helen Clark is meeting government leaders and officials, representatives of civil society organizations, and the donor community. She is also discussing UNDP’s support for the country’s recovery from the floods, and steps towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She is also attending a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the launching of the annual global Human Development Reports and the contribution of Dr. Mahbub ul Haq to the human development paradigm.
Helen Clark became the Administrator of UNDP on 17 April 2009. She is the first woman to lead the organization.
For more information about UNDP’s work in Pakistan, visit: http://www.undp.org.pk
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