ISLAMABAD: In second major humanitarian request in three days, the United Nations on Saturday sought additional funds of $178 million from the international donors for multiple humanitarian operations in Pakistan, with total request for funds the world body needs to assist millions in need now exceeding $893 million.
According to a humanitarian update issued by the UN’s Emergency Response Fund (ERF), $178 million are required to maintain humanitarian services for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). This is the third time the UN has sought funds for its humanitarian operations during the ongoing year. Earlier on Wednesday last, the UN refugee agency and government of Pakistan had sought $367 million for continuing to manage the stay of 1.6 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
In March this year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and humanitarian partners sought over $300 million for the provision of humanitarian assistance to over 2.3 million people in Pakistan, including a million people in the north-west and 1.3 million in rural Sindh. The break-up of funding needs suggested $282 million were required for responding to humanitarian needs in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, $55 for North Waziristan Agency (NWA) contingency plan (in case full-scale operation is launched) and $11.67 million for emergency response in Tharparkar, Sindh.
The ERF on Saturday said key relief services to some of the one million people who remain displaced in KP and FATA continued during the first quarter of 2014. The fund drew on $1.6 million donated by the Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency (SIDA) in December 2013 and $ 1.4 million carried over from savings from 2010 and 2011 projects.
“Although these new allocations are expected to bridge some gaps in assistance, more resources will be required to continue relief aid in KP and FATA. Although humanitarian partners have received $105 million already, $ 178 million more is required to maintain services for IDPs and returnees and nutrition support services across the country in 2014.”
The UN cautioned that humanitarian services could be interrupted if not supported adequately. “Without greater support, key organisations providing relief will not be able to provide shelter assistance to displaced families and those planning to return to FATA. Primary healthcare services will be interrupted. Life-saving treatment for malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women will be scaled back. Education for many children will be suspended.”
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