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World Bank Commits $900 Million to Recovery in Pakistan

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Pakistan’s deadly floods have affected more than 14 million people, with some estimates putting the figure considerably higher. The affected area covers 132,421 km, including 1.4 million acres of cropped land. Continuing rains have caused additional flooding and hindered relief activities.

The Bank has committed $900 million in support of Pakistan's recovery. World Bank Pakistan Country Director Rachid Benmessaoud discusses the unfolding disaster and coordination of a response.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on
This is an excellent package and depicts the plight faced by millions of people in Pakistan today and an urgent need to come to their help.

The urgency of relief will naturally transfer over to the urgency of recovery from Pakistan's devastating floods. Some may argue that we don't have time for sustainable options for village, infrastructure, and building reconstruction. Do we have time to carefully design sustainable watershed management strategies that aim to avert future disasters, as climate change impacts unfold? The common wisdom is to quickly throw in old solutions, however much they may have contributed to the disaster. However, this unprecedented catastrophe is an opportunity to rebuild homes, infrastructure, villages, towns, and watersheds with sustainable high performance designs that adapt them to the changes the tragic flooding itself demonstrates are coming. At the same time the designs must reflect the wisdom of traditional vernacular architecture and the preferences of residents. World Bank and the other multilateral and bilateral aid agencies should initiate a rapid assessment of sustainable options for reconstruction in Pakistan. Challenge major planning and architecture firms and schools to enter a competition on designs for sustainable reconstruction in Pakistan. Finance demonstration projects that become learning centers demonstrating that sustainable design works. Move beyond engineering and planning solutions from another century. Rebuild Pakistan for the future, not the past. Ernest Lowe

Submitted by Raja Rehan Arshad on
Completely agree for the need for sustainable reconstruction. However, the top priority for the affected population is to restore their lives and livelihoods back to the pre-disaster condition as quickly as possible. Too much sophistication while coming up with sustainable plans and designs takes time. Therefore, the challenge is to strike the right balance between the urgency that exists in the minds of the affected population and introducing sustainable reconstruction.

My colleagues and I have opened a web site with strategies and the most comprehensive page of links to resources for sustainable reconstruction and economic recovery in Pakistan. Please visit http://www.pakrenewal.com. Send comments for the forum to ideas (at) pakrenewal.com.

Submitted by Zeeshan on
Glad to see the institutional spotlight shining on an issue which the media - and the West - have nearly forgotten. Thanks for this, SAREX!

Submitted by Anonymous on
Thank you so much for posting this video and having the World Bank discuss the seriousness of the situation. I look forward to watching more World Bank videos (part 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on) as Pakistan tries to rebuid and restart their lives again. Where are the images of the air boats the World Bank said they delievered? I would imagine it is too difficult to record everthing outside with washed-out bridges, etc. If we could please have a video of the team involved with Damages and Needs Assessment that would be really helpful to see what work they are doing.

Submitted by Khalid Ansari on
Thanks Ernest Lowe for your comments on reconstruction of pakistan. There is a need to reconstructing houses with basic amenities and provide community infrastructure and facilities in the villages and effected town,cities in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable manner The project respond to the identified priority needs of families in the affected regions - Redevelop the village settlements with community facilities and infrastructure. - Reconstruct houses with basic amenities. - Generate economic opportunities and incomes - Impart knowledge and skills regarding safe and sustainable building construction practices. I am an Architect and running my firm in Canada but my sympathies are with Pakistan. I would very welcome to any chalanges for the designing reconstuction of villages keeping in view the local, cultural, and social needs, climatic considerations and safety features. The village layouts incorporate roads, drains, rainwater harvesting systems, landscaping features, etc. Khalid Ansari

Submitted by Mehtab Qureshi on
Every year we wait for the monsoon season to come and beat the heat of summer’s spell. The lovely rains that blossoms the trees and lightens up the atmosphere, the wonderful weather where romanticism revolves in the air for 2 months atleast. It’s altogether a lovely feeling throughout July and August. But all of a sudden, this year’s monsoon actually brought sadness over the faces; it became a wrath of God. Every single province in Pakistan got traumatized due to the rains. As this year’s rain brought in a huge Flood, shattering houses, taking away lots of lives. From the top to the bottom, Pakistan is all under water. Killing Water! What is happening? Such destruction? So much rain that not even dams can stop them? Did our Meteorological department know about such heavy rain falls and disaster caused by it? Was our irrigation department prepared? Did our ecological department plan about it? Did people have any idea how worse it can be? Did people prepare? Did people get time to think over it and prepare? Obviously there is no answer. The rains started, the sewerage system got occupied. People started running towards their home to take their families to a place where it’s not raining heavily. They are on their way to other cities/areas, the bridges collapsed, roads broke into pieces. Even the mountains loosen up, huge rocks started to fell on causing road blocks. One to another, people got caught into problems, where there was No way out. The people who went on holidays, vacations, honeymoons etc got trapped in the beautiful northern areas of Pakistan. Up on the hills, where there is no food, water, access to any store; they are stuck up in their own realm of problems. Where helicopters and government officials will have to go there to help them but due to heavy rains, they couldn’t go there even. It’s a distressing & painful state. The flood started from Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, entering Sindh via Baluchistan and parts of Punjab. As always our Forces are always there to take care of us, to protect us and save our lives. Army along with Air Force and Navy rescued many affected people but still several died and drowned in the water. Still Navy and its Commandos are trying to save lives in flooded areas of Sindh, though it just entered Sindh but created a mess there too. Prediction is that this situation will calm down by mid August 2010 but will not end until September. But one must appreciate the spirit of Pakistanis; everybody is there to help their native brothers and sisters. People are collecting & providing clothes, money, medicines, food etc all what they can think of, to the camps created by Armed Forces in different localities, as people cannot return to their homes due to no electricity, gas and major necessities of life. Electric supply, Gas and all such pipelines were closed to avoid fire and current in water, which could have lead to several deaths. Already a great number of people have already died within a week’s time. Well, one can take preventive measures always. People should avoid travelling, whether it is through any mode. People should store lots of food & medicines in their home. But then again, can one stop flood coming into their homes? Gosh NO! Although these Disasters being Natural are not without Human Involvement! .. This is a humanitarian crisis, and one should really not consider the nationality of the families dieing due to such a crisis. It is so unfortunate that people are considering nationalities when giving aid to individuals including little children. I think this is an opportunity for people, regardless of race, religion or color, to unite. SWO is working in effected areas of Sindh from the first day with its team of Doctors and Caregivers but we need help, we urgently need following items: 1. Mosquito nets. 2. Snake Bite Injections. 3. Food stuff. 4. Tents. 5. Drinking Water. 6. US Dollars 70000 We are looking towards International Community for their support and help. Remember, God loves those who love humanity. "I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this." - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Sincerely yours, Mehtab Qureshi President Saharo Welfare Organization (Regd) www.saharo-pk.com Phone: +92-021-37677933

Submitted by Balance on
Recent flood in Pakistan has badly affected masses of the country. 2/3rd of the country area is under flood water. Over 20 million people have been displaced. It is the worst disaster in the history of Pakistan. Although it is a good step that World Bank has committed $900 Million for recovery but to be very true, it is nothing. Pakistan is need of much more than this.

Submitted by Arif Omar, MD, FACC on
Pakistan does need all possible assistance; problem is the help does not reach the commons. World Bank and all such agencies need a reciprocal Governmental agency and such agency should take over the local agency or part of government and run the projects as if they are that Central Government; a central government with all branches can overtake such countries and finish the project and hand over the working projects to the local government with central supervision for decades on such projects. Please do not ask for transparency etc. Such Government can run many countries same time like Haiti, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria Etc, its like hiring a outside private government.

Submitted by Shashank S. Sinha on

This is indeed a major problem and any aid is welcome. However some questions become important here

1. how is the aid being immediately channelized?
2. what is the accountability of the Pakistan government?
3. should such aids be linked to a phase-wise reconstruction plan?

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