- Title: PAKISTAN: Millions of flood affected people wait for aid in relief camps
- Date: 8th August 2010
- Summary: TWO GIRLS TALKING
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2010 13:00
- Location: Pakistan
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVA2Z4JW39M3TZWTKYPDI85WV30D
- Story Text: Conditions in Utmanzai Camp No.1 -- like hundreds of similar camps set up for victims of Pakistan's deadliest floods -- are miserable. Inmates complained on Saturday (August 7) that they had not received any relief at all so far.
The floods have killed more than 1,600 people and disrupted the lives of 12 million. Pakistan's agriculture-based economy, heavily dependent on foreign aid, has suffered a major blow.
In the north-west Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, one of the two worst hit regions, a majority of the displaced are crammed into public buildings, including schools and colleges.
Among them are thousands of Afghan refugees and displaced Pakistanis who had fled recent violence from Swat and Dir areas. Now they have lost their homes for a second time.
Four villages that housed Afghan refugees in Charsadda, Peshawar and Nowshera districts have been badly damaged by the floods.
About 10,000 refugee families were residing in these villages, but most of their mud houses have been destroyed by raging flood waters.
The army has delivered tents to the devastated villages but inmates say they are not enough.
"Our houses have collapsed. Tents have been erected over our houses, but we have received no other help. Relief is coming from all over the world, but the army has not given us anything. We have not received any of the relief goods coming from America," said Tahir Khan, a resident of Utmanzai camp.
The United States is providing 450,000 halal food packets for the flood victims, a sizeable portion of which has already been dropped by helicopters.
But residents of the Utmanzai camp said they have only only heard of the halal meal packets, but not seen a single one so far.
"We have no shelter over our heads because our houses have been destroyed. Our children are out in the rain. All our belongings have been swept away, only some old cots are left. The children are lying on those," said Abdul Wahab, as he watched his livestock tethered under a makeshift shelter.
The U.N. World Food Programme spokesman Amjad Jamal said things were getting worse because the rain, that started again in the flood-ravaged regions, was hampering relief work.
According to the Federal Flood Commission, more than 248,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged and 1.38 million acres (558,000 hectares) of crop land flooded across Pakistan.
More than 10,000 cows have reportedly perished over the past eight days.
The UNHCRA says it has distributed more than 12,000 tents so far, along with other thousands of other relief items such as plastic tarpaulins, blankets, jerry cans and kitchen sets as part of a co-ordinated response effort in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
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