Pakistan Marks 1st Anniversary of Historic Floods

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan and the international community are marking the 1st anniversary of devastating floods that killed more than 1,600 people, affected up to 20 million others and submerged one-fifth of the country.

The scale of the disaster galvanized the Pakistani government and military, as well as the international community. The United Nations made the largest appeal in its history and the world responded with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

According to the Pakistani government, hundreds of thousands of new homes have already been built, providing shelter for many of the displaced, but there is considerably more work to be done.

The relief agency Oxfam said this week that more than 800,000 families are still without proper housing, and many flood defenses have not been reconstructed. It has left many of the damaged areas – including farmlands, irrigation channels and housing – still at risk.

The U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator and Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, said the humanitarian community, in close cooperation with the Pakistani government, continues to provide emergency aid, including food, water, shelter and health care.

Amos added that although “the response by the humanitarian community is to be commended, it is the people of Pakistan who showed remarkable resilience, courage, and strength in overcoming a crisis of such immense magnitude.”