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Save the floods hit Pakistan has global consequences

NOWSHERANowshera: The world must help Pakistan rebuild homes and lives destroyed by the devastating floods in order to secure the hearts and minds of activists hit the nation, UNDP Regional Director for AFP.

Global Cash contributions have been slow to strengthen efforts to rescue and relief courses in flood damaged nuclear nation where over 21 million people were affected by floods triggered monsoon months.

Now helping Pakistanis rebuild homes and businesses reduced to rubble by the unprecedented deluge will be even more important to regional stability and global long term, said UN Assistant Secretary General Ajay Chhibber.

“Now that the water has receded in large parts… what’s clear from these visits is that the early recovery needs to start now,” said Chhibber, the Asia-Pacific head of the UN Development Programme, during a visit Monday to the militant-hit northwest.

“If there’s greater unrest in Pakistan it will have much greater regional and global implications.

“This is a country that is a very large, very important country in the region, a very large, very important country in the globe, so that battle for the hearts and minds of people here is very important.”

Last week the UN said that despite an improvement in aid donations after a visit by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in mid-August, extra pledges had “almost stalled” since a week earlier.

The UN has warned that the slow pace of pledges could impede relief operations and says Pakistan faces a triple threat to food supplies — with seeds, crops and incomes hit.

An initial relief appeal has been about two thirds funded, and Chhibbers said a second appeal would be launched on September 17, seeking help for the next steps in Pakistan’s recovery.

The millions made homeless, many living in makeshift shelters, will need to be encouraged back to their land, even if their homes have been destroyed, in order to restore the social fabric of communities, said Chhibber.

An initial 100 million dollars would also be required to establish cash-to-work schemes, paying the landless poor to clear debris and begin rebuilding schools, community and health centres.

“You can see people milling around, they need things to do,” said Chhibber after visiting the northwest town of Nowshera, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 19 people were killed Monday in the latest suicide bombing to hit the militant-riddled province.

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