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August 5, 10

NEWS / UN supporting efforts to help victims of Pakistani floods

29 July 2010 Ė The United Nations is sending relief supplies to help victims in Pakistan of heavy floods, which are the worst that some parts of the Asian nation have seen in more than eight decades.

Heavy rains in recent days have triggered flash and river floods across Pakistan, causing death and widespread displacement, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods, with the waters destroying crops and damaging roads and bridges.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province, is experiencing its worst flooding since 1929, with at least 400,000 people affected. Swat, Charsadda and 23 other badly-hit districts have received up to 29 centimetres of rain in the past 24 hours, the highest recorded rainfall in the region in the past 35 years.

Road links to the city of Peshawar in the province have been cut off, while the Swat River has broken its banks and there is a fear that the Indus River will soon overflow.

Government-led relief efforts are under way in KPK, with authorities having provided food, tents and other supplies, while in some areas, the army is evacuating people from their villages.

In Baluchistan province, flooding has reached seven districts, affecting some 150,000 people.

The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are providing tents and other items, while the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is coordinating with the Government to provide medicine.

For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) is ready to provide food if needed.




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