Issued: August 26, 2010, 6:00 p.m.
The week started with returning of some of the flood affectees-to their native places-in upper parts of the country, where residual floodwaters, rubble, and ruins greet them. With flood waters mounting pressure on the coastal city of Thatta (in the Southern part of Pakistan) new estimates reveal the widespread devastation caused by floods.
Highlights of the week are:
- Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced that the world community during two UN General Assembly special sessions pledged USD 254 million aid money and assured of providing USD 810 million for the flood-affected.
- Despite commitments and announcements of providing millions of dollars by foreign donors, Pakistan has not received a single penny from abroad for flood victims. Although, foreign donors and friendly countries are dispatching millions of dollars worth aid in shape of relief goods such as food, tents, blanket, cloths, etc, but payments are still not realized. Afghanistan has announced USD 1 million, Japan USD 10 million, Australia USD 31.2 million, China 700 RMB, Germany 10 million Euro, Brazil USD 0.7 million, Turkey USD 5 million, European Commission 10 million Euro and Western Union USD 0.1 million. Any payment from abroad would reflect in the foreign exchange reserves and the country’s reserves are on decline. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have declined to USD 16.29 billion during last week from USD 16.45 billion a week earlier.
- USA, has promised USD 150 million, while Switzerland shown intent for donation of USD 150 million and sent 6 disaster management experts. Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) mentioned that British public has given Pound 29 million to flood response efforts. Danish Government has announced donation of USD 9.5 million humanitarian emergency aid.
- Every year 100 billion Rupees (USD1.17 billion) are donated as Zakat and 90 percent of it is donated in the month of Ramadan. From Zakat Fund, Rupees. 4.05 billion (USD 47 million) would be disbursed amongst the provinces to provide relief to flood affectees.
- So far, the Fedaral Zakat Council has approved Rupees. 150 million (USD 1.76 million) as assistance for the flood affected people in Sindh Province. The families affected by the flood will be provided Rupees. 5000 (USD 59) to Rupees 10,000 (USD 118) after the verification of records.
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provided power generator, water pumps and tents, as contributed by Slovakia. NATO is also involved in air lift of the flood victims.
- It is reported that 18 INGOs are actively involved in the 80 flood-effected districts, all over Pakistan. According to press conference by United Nations, figures for flood survivors has risen to 16.8 million, out of which 8 million are in desperate help and so far 110,000 tents have been provided.
- Punjab Government, in a high level meeting has decided to establish control centers at district and Tehsil level, where people could contact district authorities for the solution of their problems.
- The Government has set a deadline of October 15, 2010 for disaster management officials and multilateral agencies to complete the on-going flood damage and need assessment survey. Further, it is estimated that rescue and relief will be continued till Oct 30, 2010.
- The earlier set inflation rate of 9.5 percent is unofficially revised at 13 percent.
- An initial report on the aftermath of floods by economic adviser’s wing of Finance Ministry feared 25 percent year-on-year inflation, zero growth, no increase in national wealth and stagnancy in size of the economy at Rupees. 14.68 trillion (USD 172 billion). The substantial impact on the cotton crop, impact of floods on the farmers’ incomes and on the wider rural economy are cited reasons.
- According to a dispatch received in FAO’s Rome Office, around 200,000 cows, sheep, buffaloes, goats and donkeys have already been died, though it is feared that final numbers will be much higher. The UN has asked for USD 5.7 million in emergency assistance for livestock and FAO has mobilized USD 1.4 million of funds for the procurement of food stuff and for animal vaccines. While in another account, number of livestock affected in Sindh alone is 5 million.
- Total crop loss in Pakistan from the flood has been estimated at Rupees 244.639 billion (USD 2.8 billion) by the Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Cotton, a key crop in the country, suffered production loss of 2.25 million bales or Rupees 71.4 billion (USD 840,000). The estimated crop is now 11.759 million bales against earlier estimate 14 million bales. The sown area was 3.199 million hectares, out of that 0.588 million hectares has been damaged. Other major losses come from rice paddy which suffered a damage of Rupees 56.386 billion (USD 663 million) causing a loss 1.597 million tons. Now rice crop is estimated at 4.352 million tons. Rice paddy was sown on 2.525 million hectares and damaged area is 0.678 million hectares. Third major crop is sugarcane, which is likely to suffer a loss of Rupees 19.351 billion (USD 227 million) from 7.646 million tons. Its estimated production was 54.834 million tons, and remainder is now 47.188 million tons. Its sown area was 1.047 million hectares and damaged area is 0.146 million hectares. Estimates of 13 other crops including pulses, vegetables, fruits and fodder show loss of Rupees 97.502 billion (USD 1 billion) and it is sown at 2.8 million hectares and damaged area is 0.588 million hectares. Its total damaged sown area is 1.926 million hectares, while total sown area is 9.57 hectares.
- Floods have caused a damage of up to Rupees 8 billion to the poultry industry or 12 to 15 percent in term of poultry population in the country.
- There are 26,900 public and private schools operating in the 23 districts of Sindh. Out of these 14,805 schools are in Karachi, 1821 in Hyderabad and 5,444 schools in other parts of the province. It is claimed that save Karachi and Hyderabad, all schools in Sindh are affected by Floods.
- Approximately 202 flood survivors have been bitten by snakes in Sindh alone.
- Sindh Government promised 6 month welfare for IDPs, in relief camps and can accommodate 100,000 more IDPs in Karachi’s relief camps.
- Sindh government has estimated Rupees. 150 billion ($176 million) for rehabilitation. About 50,000 people are affected in Naushehro Feroz.
- The death toll from gastroenteritis has risen to 76 across Sindh, as another patient died on Wednesday at a flood relief camp in Karachi. As many as 3.5 million children are at high risk from deadly water-borne diseases.
- Approximately 50,000 water purification tablets will be provided to flood affected people in the next few days by the Pakistan Council for Research and Water Resources.
- A total of 108,500 flood survivors been rescued over the last two weeks by search teams during the rescue operation ‘Madad’.
- Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari said on Wednesday, that about 5 million tents are required for providing shelter to flood affectees.
- Indus Blid Dolphin, Chinkara, Mongoose, Black Buck, Caracl and Wild Boar are the animals whose habitats are disturbed by the on-going floods in Sindh Province.