UN-Habitat has inaugurated thousands of new single room homes for the victims of devastating floods in a country already bracing itself for further flood devastation this year
The 2010 and 2011 floods left an estimated 18 million homeless. In response, UN-Habitat Pakistan initiated the Pakistan Settlements Flood Recovery Project thanks to generous funding of the Government of Japan amounting to 44.6 million dollars.
“It was a great challenge not only for Pakistan but also for the international community to help the affected populations due to the large magnitude of destruction,” said Toshi Noda, UN-Habitat’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific during a visit to the area last week.
“Thanks to the generous and timely funding from the donor agencies, UN-Habitat was able to start projects in the flood affected areas. I am happy to see the progress and the way the project has been implemented to improve the lives of people during the post-disaster situation,” he told journalists and officials gathered for the inauguration of 30,000 shelters with infrastructure and basic services including water and sanitation facilities which were built in the villages of Union Council Dheri Zardad and Babook Qualay in Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Mr. Noda was accompanied at the inauguration ceremony by Shahzad Bangash Director General of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Siamak Moghaddam, the UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager in Pakistan.
“There are still many issues to be resolved related to human settlements in Pakistan and I am hopeful that UN-Habitat will continue its support through additional projects in future,” he added.
Already predicted for 2012, the floods are expected to bring some destruction to the country. However, the beneficiaries who have participated in their own rehabilitation and reconstruction now stand a better chance to minimize the impacts.