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New floods threaten Pakistan: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 20, 2010 p 1. August 26, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan, Disaster Relief.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Another wave of flood waters is moving south along the Indus River, Pakistani officials warned on Aug 16, threatening to swell the ranks of the millions driven from their homes.  Around one-fifth of Pakistan was underwater over the weekend, and the official death toll has risen to 1463.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “In the past, I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this,” after visiting the Sindh.

Mr. Ban said he is allocating an additional $10 million from the U.N.’s emergency response fund for the disaster. Almost $305 million has been pledged for the relief effort, but Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said more aid is needed to address the country’s ruined infrastructure and agriculture.

Overseas aid has been slow in reaching Pakistan, however, and the UN said on Aug 13 said it had received only 20 per cent of the funds it needs to aid the victims.  Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called the global response so far, “lamentable, absolutely pitiful.”

In an email to the Church of England Newspaper, the Bishop of Peshawar, the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Peters stated, the “floods have devastated everything in Pakistan and especially in our part of the world.”

The diocese reports that Khyber Pakhtunkwa province, formerly known as the North West Frontier, has been especially hard hit.  “Thousands of villages are under water and hundreds of people are either dead or missing. All road links within the Province have been cut down; relief workers are trying to reach the affected people.”

“In Khyber Pakhtunkwa the worst hit area is Swat. The people of Swat were first hit by militancy and now they are terrorized by the natural disaster, worst of its kind in the living memory. Thousands are still trapped in floods, as roads and bridges have been washed away.”

“Similarly, people in Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Pabbi, Tarnab Farm, Tarbella, Swabi and Nowshera have also lost literally everything and are residing in open spaces, apart from floods and no-aid.”

“There are reports that people are also suffering from trauma, gastroenteritis, are also facing the deadly snakes, scorpions and mosquitoes and have no protection and/or medicines and flood. There are reports that people are also suffering from trauma, gastroenteritis, skin diseases and cholera,” the diocese reports.

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