COMMONS

Only one third of Pakistan floods money delivered report MPs

10 May 2011

MPs have expressed concern that only $700 million of a $2 billion appeal has been delivered on the ground to help those in need. MPs on the Committee have branded this unacceptable given that there are millions of people still in need of humanitarian assistance and living in camps.

Chairman of the Committee, Malcolm Bruce MP said:

"Two thirds of the funding called for had still not been delivered by January 2011 – this is unacceptable."

The floods covered one fifth of the country, an area larger than England, and affected 18 million people. More than 1,900 lost their lives, 12 million were displaced and 1.7 million homes were damaged or destroyed. The scale of the floods overwhelmed the capacity of the international system, already stretched by the earthquake in Haiti, to respond effectively. The UN response was patchy with poor leadership and coordination, according to the report.

"The international community can and must learn some important lessons from its response to the Pakistan floods, which will help in preparing for future disasters, in particular it needs to train-up a cadre of people to lead and coordinate complex emergency responses."

The report also calls on the Department for International Development and the wider international community to pay greater attention to disaster preparedness and risk reduction as climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Densely populated urban areas are at greatest risk in terms of loss of life and livelihoods. The Chair of the International Development Committee added:

"Climate change looks likely to make natural disasters both more frequent and severe and population growth will increase their impact  – the world must make sure it’s better prepared to come to the rescue of countries in need. DFID must give greater priority to increasing disaster preparedness in its development programmes." 

DFID provided £134 million in humanitarian assistance and the British public donated at least £64 million directly to Non Government Organisations through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal. In addition many Pakistanis living in the UK helped by increasing their level of remittance.

Chair of the International Development Committee, Malcolm Bruce MP said:

"We are proud of the generosity and leadership shown by the British people and DFID in responding to the devastating Pakistan floods of 2010.At a time when many people were struggling in the UK, the British public dug deep to help others more in need."

Image: iStockphoto

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