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Progress in Pakistani Quake Efforts, Funds Short

UN Achieving Progress in Pakistani Quake Relief Efforts But Funds Still Fall Short

New York, Nov 2 2005 5:00PM

A lot of progress is being made on the ground in aiding survivors of Pakistan's worst-ever earthquake despite difficult circumstances, but the United Nations flash appeal has received in pledges and commitments less than a quarter of the $550 million it is seeking, the coordinating office reported today.

Shelter remains the overriding priority, with between 100,000 and 200,000 tents still needed, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. In addition, food aid is required for more than 2 million people. OCHA noted that acute respiratory infection is the most common diagnosis in all health facilities.

It also reported that the UN is enjoying excellent cooperation with the Pakistani Government, which is pulling out all the stops to help as many people as possible.

As of today, the death toll stood at 73,000, the injured numbered 69,000 and 3.2 million to 3.5 million people are estimated to be in need of medical care, with 3.2 million left homeless by the 8 October disaster.

"We need all pledges to the Flash Appeal to be urgently converted into commitments and contributions," OCHA said in its latest update. "Many agencies fear that operations will come to a halt if no additional funding is received in the coming days." As of today, $131 million in pledges and commitments have been made.

"UN agencies have used their own reserves to get things moving; some have borrowed heavily," OCHA added. "We are still hopeful that, in the coming days, donors assign some of the pledges made in Geneva to the appeal, which needs to be done very soon due to the narrow window of opportunity."

ENDS

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