Friday, October 15, 2010

Pakistan needs sustained international funding for reconstruction

Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan on Friday urged a continuous flow of funds for recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the flood affected areas as the challenges the country faced were time-critical.Addressing the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP), Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the floods have ruined about 3.6 million hectares of rich farm land and over one-third of infrastructure.He briefed the gathering about the impact of the catastrophic floods in Pakistan that have brought in their wake massive destruction and miseries and made the challenge of economic recovery more daunting.

“It is imperative, that the flow of funds, required by the UN in the early recovery phase is not disrupted,” he said and termed it vital for ensuring sustainable rehabilitation. He said there was the daunting challenge to provide seed to flood-stricken farmers over the next few weeks, to enable them plant wheat. “If the next wheat crop is not salvaged, the food security of millions will be in jeopardy,” Qureshi warned.

Foreign Minister said Pakistan’s economy that was already under tremendous counterterrorism pressure, was now confronting additional daunting challenges. “We need to rehabilitate over 20 million flood affectees; and rebuilding close to 2 million houses, thousands of bridges, schools, hospitals and roads, and vast agricultural lands, mercilessly ripped apart by the calamity. This will require several billion dollars,” he added.

Qureshi pleaded that Pakistan needs continued support and assistance from its friends. “Coping with such a scale of destruction is beyond any developing country’s capacity.” … He pointed that the UN revised its floods flash appeal upward to two billion dollars, and so far, nearly $ 690 million have been raised….

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