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Story Publication logo October 18, 2010

Sink or Swim? Pakistan Struggles to Keep its Head Above High Water

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Epic floods recently inundated vast expanses of Pakistan in the worst natural disaster in its recent...

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As floodwaters in Pakistan slowly recede, the crisis is far from over. An estimated 1.4 million internally displaced people remain in refugee camps and informal settlements. The UN World Health Organization reports that acute respiratory infections are on the upswing in northern Pakistan, while concerns persist over malaria and cholera near the Indus Valley. Relief workers are working tirelessly to provide food, medicine, and potable water but funds are drying up quickly. The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) recently called for a generous and swift international response to the $2 billion appeal for aid for Pakistan flood victims, which was just 34 percent funded. Besides tending to the immediate needs of displaced people, Pakistan is also struggling to rebuild its infrastructure. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank recently announced that the floods caused an estimated $9.7 billion in damage to homes, roads, farms and other parts of the southwestern Asian country. In the northern Kyber Pakhtunkhwa province, local nonprofits are raising money to rebuild roads, bridges, and pathways before winter descends and leaves mountain dwellers stranded in the formidable hinterlands.

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