UN chief Ban Ki-moon is to report back to the organisation’s general assembly after his fact finding mission to Pakistan to try to speed up the flow of aid.
The cost of rebuilding the country after its devastating floods could exceed 15 billion dollars that includes lost crops and damage to infrastructure, schools, hospitals and houses.
But so far only a quarter of the 460 million dollars requested by the UN for immediate relief as arrived despite Ban calling the floods “the worst natural catastrophe” he had ever seen.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Tim Irwin explained: “To get a precise figure is really very difficult. We’ve seen government estimates that there may be as many as 20 million people affected by this flooding. We at UNHCR we don’t have a precise figure. We know that it’s momentous. Whatever the figure is it’s an enormous number of people, more than can be imagined and the situation is on going.”
But misgivings about Pakistan’s government and alleged corruption along with donor countries’ struggling with their own financial problems appear to have slowed up a relief response.
Islamabad is to set up an independent commission to ensure no misuse of funds hoping to unleash a wave of compassion similar to that for Haiti’s earthquake.