UN refugee agency seeks 120 million to shelter floodhit Pakistanis

25 August 2010The number of people in need of shelter in flood-devastated regions of Pakistan has continued to rise as more areas become inundated, the United Nations refugee agency reported today, revising upwards the amount of funding it requires to ensure the homeless have emergency accommodation. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it will now need $120 million, up from the $41 million the agency sought previously, to enable it provide emergency shelter and other forms of assistance to an estimated 2 million people during the next four months.The agency said that its field staff have reported that encampments were mushrooming across Sindh province as the floods spread into new areas of southern Pakistan over the past few days.“Our field staff report that some 700,000 displaced people are living in 1,800 settlements – many of these located in schools or colleges or in the few camps set up by the Government,” said Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR’s spokesperson in Geneva. “UNHCR is distributing tents and other relief items and providing technical advice to local officials on camp management and camp coordination issues,” he added.In Balochistan, people are taking shelter on the rooftops of Gandhaka after more high tides hit the area, according to UNHCR.The floods, the result of unusually heavy monsoon rainfall, are now estimated to have affected more than 17 million people. At least 8 million of those affected are believed to be in need of humanitarian assistance. Over 1.2 million homes have been damaged or destroyed.

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