As most of Pakistan remained submerged in water and with countries and individuals slow in loosening their purse-strings, the U.N. on Tuesday declared the fortnight-long flooding of the country as a calamity graver than the three biggest natural disasters of this century put together — the tsunami of 2004, the earthquake in Pakistan of 2005 and the Haiti quake this year.
Though the loss in terms of lives is not much in comparison, practically every part of the country has been swept by the raging waters causing untold damage to standing crop and basic infrastructure Worse, according to U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, Martin Mogwanja, “this is a continuing disaster because water is moving and damaging homes even now and the monsoons are still with us.''
Briefing mediapersons here on the scale of the response that is required, U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Jean-Maurice Ripert, said there was a need to massively scale up the relief and rehabilitation measures.
As of now, the U.N. has received a meagre $26 million in direct donations and another $67 million has been pledged by various donors to the U.N. system. This apart, the government has received assistance in cash and kind from various countries as part of bilateral cooperation.