‘Millions’ without aid in Pakistan

A month into the disaster, new areas are flooded and food fails to reach an estimated three million people.

More than 20 million people have been affected by Pakistan’s floods, with many areas still submerged [Reuters]

The United Nations says that three million people affected by floods in Pakistan have yet to receive the food aid they desperately need.

Martin Mogwanja, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Pakistan, said flooding was still reaching into new areas in the southern Sindh province.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are moving out of the areas of Quetta and surrounding districts because of the new flooding coming in,” he told Al Jazeera on Sunday.

Mogwanja said a major breach of river banks in the north of the province had effectively formed a second river, moving down south. 

“The humanitarian community is working as hard as it can with the government … to reach into these areas where flooding has never normally occurred.”

For its part, the Pakistani government has acknowledged that nearly one million people have not received any help of any sort, a month into the disaster.

Some parts of the country are still being hit by fresh flooding. Southern Sindh province remains one of the hardest-hit areas.

More than 20 million people across the country have been affected by the floods, which have killed more than 1,500 people.

Supplies sold

Crime and the sale of donated aid supplies are undermining aid efforts.

In Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, flour bags and tins of cooking oil bearing the logos of international aid agencies like the World Food Programme and USAid are openly on sale, according to Reuters news agency.

“We bought them from the victims,” Abdul Ghafoor, a shopkeeper in Peshawar’s Gur Mandi, said.

“They get money and buy something else which they need more.”

Rahimullah Khan, another shopkeeper, said: “It cannot happen without officials’ involvement.

“Victims cannot bring a lorry full of supplies here.”

District authorities have raided and sealed two warehouses where stolen aid supplies were found, and made two arrests.

Fear of theft

Further south, in Punjab province, villagers say people living outside flood-affected areas have stolen from houses abandoned by flood victims.

Rana Farmanullah, a villager in Mehmood Kot, said robbers arrived on boats to loot the villagers’ belongings.

“They took away everything,” he said.

“They were taking valuables and electrical equipment. They stole washing machines, standing fans, refrigerators, small electrical devices, and jewellery.”

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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