MABAD - The UN-launched Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) would be followed by an international humanitarian appeal for funds generation in order to provide a consolidated humanitarian response to Sindhs flood ravaged parts, it is learnt.
The ongoing RNA would estimate the extent of flood damages and destruction across Sindhs flood-hit areas including Badin, Thatta, Mipurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Dadu, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Khairpur, Jamshoro, Sangar, Benazirabad, Hyderabad and related rural belt of interior Sindh.
Spokesperson United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Pakistan, Stacey Winston, confirmed when approached by this paper that a humanitarian appeal for Sindhs flood affectees was on the cards after the completion of RNA in Sindh.
It would be very soon but the exact date is not confirmed as yet. More funds would be required in the light of Rapid Needs Assessment for humanitarian assistance in the flood-hit areas, she said.
With OCHA working as the focal humanitarian agency in providing humanitarian services to Sindhs monsoon floods, other UN agencies and bodies including United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Word Food Programme (WFP) are also directly involved in relief efforts in the floods-ravaged belt while the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support for Early Recovery and Community Restoration services.
Everybody is engaged in providing assistance to the flood-hit people, Winston said, adding that the UN agencies in coordination with government departments were reaching out to the entire flood-ravaged region.
Talking to this journalist on Monday, District Coordination Officer (DCO), Badin, Kazim Hussain Jatoi appreciated the involvement of UN agencies in Sindhs affected areas for humanitarian services. Badin is virtually flooded to the hilt. I hope the arrival of UN and other international relief agencies would change the things considerably, he said.
Despite opposition from the government officials at Pakistans disaster management authorities against the involvement of international community in Sindh, Pakistan formally sought UNs help reportedly after powerful political figures from ruling brass expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Sindhs Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Sindhs flood-affected districts.
The repeated reports of negligence in providing humanitarian aid had prompted the influential parliamentarians from Sindh, whose constituencies and districts were badly affected by floods, to get the government seek assistance from the international organisation. During a visit to her native town Badin, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza had slammed the negligence of NDMA and PDMA saying that these disaster management authorities did not have any presence in Sindhs flood-ravaged belt. The Speaker NA had said that action would be taken against the officials responsible for this negligence and urged the international community to step ahead for saving lives in Sindh.
On the other hand, the NDMA and PDMA officials, in their repeated media briefings, had kept downplaying the international communitys possible role in humanitarian activities after monsoon floods had hit Sindh.
Just few days back, Chairman NDMA, Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir had alleged that there was no official documentation available with Pakistani government of $ 400 million spent by international community in flood-hit areas last year.
Following a telephonic conversation between the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday, the UN had launched its humanitarian response with partial relief operations having started on Friday while standard humanitarian operations started after formal announcement on Saturday.