One Year passes on as International Organization for Migration Aids 10.3 Million Pakistani Flood Victims


Islamabad: IOM has reached over 10.3 million of the 18 million people affected by the 2010 floods which devastated vast swathes Pakistan a year ago, damaging and destroying some 1.7 million homes.

But massive needs remain and IOM is appealing for an additional USD 3.6 million to launch a targeted multi-sectoral response to help the most vulnerable families affected.

Over the past 12 months, IOM, which led the humanitarian response in the shelter sector, has distributed emergency shelter to 2.76 million people; provided logistics support to the government and aid agencies, including consignment and processing of 39 relief flights and over 1,000 truckloads of aid; provided health services to over 120,000 people; and disseminated life-saving humanitarian messages to 7.1 million people.

“This has been one of the largest disasters ever and our teams have achieved a tremendous amount,” says IOM Pakistan Chief of Mission Hassan Abdel Moneim Mustafa.

“But it is heartbreaking to see the huge needs that remain. Across the country, most people who lost their homes are still living in tents, health facilities are not fully functional and people have yet to re-establish a source of income,” he adds.

IOM is currently targeting 37,000 households (some 259,000 people) to help them to construct durable, flood-resistant one-room shelters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1,100), Sindh 13,000) and Punjab (23,000) provinces.

Some 8,500 homes have already been completed, with funding from the US Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the European Commission Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Government of Japan and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project follows the Early Recovery Guidelines developed by the inter-agency Shelter Cluster and endorsed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Housing Early Recovery Working Group (HERWG).

After a successful pilot at the beginning of 2011, IOM decided to provide cash transfers rather than material support to help affected families. This allowed beneficiaries to choose what materials to buy and the shelter design, as well putting much needed income into local supply chains.

The project is community-driven and targets the most vulnerable families in each community. Groups of beneficiaries are organized into village councils. Each council nominates a focal person to receive cash support from the project and this person distributes it to all the beneficiaries. Payment is in tranches and is paid once the entire group has achieved a construction milestone, such as digging or building the foundations of their new homes.

Mohammad Saleh is building a shelter for his wife, three children, mother-in-law and grandmother in Mir Ahmed Khan Bijarani, district Kashmore, in northern Sindh. The village council is helping them to build the shelter so that the whole village will receive its next tranche of funding.

He received PKR 25,500 (USD 300) from IOM and says that he found technical training provided by IOM and implementing partner Sewa Development Trust Sindh (SDTS) very useful.

“I learnt new techniques including the use of cement mortar in walls and plaster to increase water resistance. The better the foundations and the plastering, the less likely the building will be damaged in the next rains,” he says.

IOM is also restoring key community infrastructure damaged in the floods and restoring livelihoods through a small grants programme, specifically targeting women and small businesses.

Meanwhile IOM medical staffs are continuing to provide primary health services, referral services and information to around 10,000 patients per month in the worst flood-affected areas.

In addition, IOM is partnering with the government to prepare for future disasters, including supporting the establishment of an Early Disaster Warning System in Sindh, pre-positioning shelter and non-food relief items, and leading the contingency planning process for shelter, as well as camp coordination and management.

For more information, contact:
Helen Seeger
International Organization for Migration
Islamabad
Tel: +92 308 520 47 05,
Email: hseeger@iom.int