10/04/2010, 00.00
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Needed: shelter for more than a million flood victims before winter

by Jibran Khan
The president of the International Federation of Red Cross calls on donor countries to give more money for a second round of aid distribution. Flooded regions still have millions of people without food and shelter who could die from the approaching winter. More than 150,000 families are still receiving aid relief from the Red Cross.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PCRS) are planning to provide transitional shelters for one million flood victims to protect them from the upcoming winter, IFRC President Tadateru Konoe said.

“The situation is very complex. People are shelter-less, have no food, no clean drinking weather and have poor health facilities,” said the IFRC president, who is on a short visit to Pakistan to assess the damage and see the relief activities in flood-affected areas. “I have seen with my own eyes people dig in the mud,” he added.

“The IFRC, in partnership with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, now hopes to conduct a second round of aid distribution to these families. Winter is fast approaching and we would love to be able to provide as many people as possible with more blankets to help them cope with the cold. But to do this, we need more money now,” he said.

According to the United Nations, there are more than 20 million displaced people living in emergency camps, many of them isolated, and this make aid work more difficult.

Currently, 150,000 families are receiving relief aid from the Red Cross and Red Crescent, working with 37 associations to provide food and non-food items in 89 districts.

The IRFC has appealed for an extra US$ 72 million and so far has raised73 per cent form international donors.

So far, only 20 per cent of flood-affected people have been able to go home. But upon return, they found that they are homes and farmland are unusable.

For IFRC President Konoe, the situation requires more long-lasting plans, not temporary measures, to meet the needs of those affected.

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