UN appeals for funds to aid cyclone victims in Pakistan


New York : The United Nations has called on international donors to provide 38 million dollars immediately to enable it to help victims of cyclone Yemyin in south-west Pakistan.

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About 300 people have lost their lives, nearly 200 are missing, 377,000 have been displaced and a total of 2.5 million impacted by four days of heavy rains in Balochistan and Sindh, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

"United Nations agencies and NGOs are working closely with the Pakistan authorities to bring urgent assistance to those affected by this disaster," said John Holmes, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, speaking at the launch of the appeal in Geneva.

"I urge the world to respond urgently and generously to this appeal. If we don't act quickly, their plight is likely to deteriorate further," he warned.

The funds are needed to provide urgent assistance over three months for shelter, water and sanitation, health, food security and early recovery. Assessments to determine needs were jointly conducted by the Government and humanitarian community earlier this month.

"The humanitarian community is relying on international donors to fund this flash appeal," said Jan Vandemoortele, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan.

While some people have been taken in by relatives and friends, others are living in schools and other public buildings, makeshift settlements and camps.

There is an acute shortage of safe drinking water as water systems have been damaged and contaminated, OCHA said, pointing out that by supplying access to sanitation and hygiene, outbreaks of water-borne diseases will be prevented.