Sayeeda Warsi in Pakistan: Floods six months on “we must not be complacent”.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi returned to Pakistan six months on from the devastating floods to learn how the country is recovering, to learn what more needs to be done, and to see how more than £200million (27.7 billion rupees) from British people is supporting Pakistani people affected by the floods.
Baroness Warsi was briefed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and viewed progress on relief and reconstruction efforts. UK based charities and aid agencies,
including members of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and the Muslim Charities Forum, also briefed Baroness Warsi on their work to help people in Pakistan recover from the floods.
Speaking in Islamabad, Baroness Warsi, said: “When I was here exactly six months ago in August at the peak of the floods with the UK International Development Secretary Andrew
Mitchell I saw scenes of devastation. Today I’ve been heartened to see and hear how the UK is helping millions of people in Pakistan rebuild their lives, but there is much more to do, with widespread malnutrition and the risk of disease outbreaks.
“Some areas of Sindh are still under water and thousands of people continue to live in temporary camps. Reconstructing the millions of homes, bridges, and schools that were destroyed will
take years. “So we must not be complacent, nor relax our efforts. That’s why the UK is continuing to help millions of people in Pakistan to rebuild their lives, get people back on their feet and earn a living again, and get hundreds of thousands of children back in to education.”
“I’m proud of the British people’s generous response to the floods, which shows our deep affinity and kinship with Pakistan; our countries are closely tied together through family and history and the UK will continue to stand by the people of Pakistan on this long road to recovery.”
The total contribution from the UK has reached well over £200million (27.7 billion rupees), which consists of £134 million (18.5 billion rupees) from the UK Government, a further £69 million
(9.5 billion rupees) donated from the pockets of the British public through the DEC appeal, and millions more from British charities and local fundraising activities. In addition, a £10 million (1.4 billion rupees) project to build new bridges and schools to replace some of those destroyed by the floods was brought forward; ten bridges shipped over from the UK are now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reopening vital transport links.
The UK was one of the first countries to respond to the floods last year and has helped millions of people affected by the floods, including:
- Safe drinking water to 2.5 million people;
- Tents and shelter for some 1.3 million people;
- Toilets and sanitation for almost 500,000 people;
- Food packages for more than one million people in flood affected areas, in addition to nutritional support for half a million malnourished young children and pregnant/breastfeeding women;
- Wheat and vegetable seeds, fertiliser, animal stock feed, and veterinary services to more than 115,000 rural families to avoid further loss of animals and dependency on food aid for the next year or more;
- Basic health care for around 2.3 million people;
- Help for 200,000 children by repairing 1,500 schools damaged by the floods and providing 200 temporary facilities for children whose schools have been destroyed across Sindh and the Punjab, as well as accelerating a project to build forty schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa benefitting another 9,000 boys and girls;
- Heath and hygiene education on how to avoid potentially fatal diseases for around one million people;
- Help for around one million people in rural areas to earn a living by providing jobs, skills training, as well as farming tools, seeds, and animals so families can restart their farms;
- Support to deliver 8,239 metric tonnes of food and other aid by UN helicopter airdrops, serving flood affected people across 160 different locations;
- Twelve planes (five Royal Air Force) flown in packed full of emergency aid; (19th Feb 2011)