ISLAMABAD - The lack of funds, amidst expectedly heavy downpour, has posed serious challenges to humanitarian activities in order to provide a consolidated response to tackle floods threat.

Following a belated arrival, heavy rains have started in several parts across the country. While the start of rainy season has rid the public of dry spell of scorching heat, the concerns of international humanitarian community have been mounted. Presently, the government has not shared any roadmap with relevant humanitarian agencies to tackle with the possible flooding this year.

Moreover, the UN, allied non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have not received substantial funding pledges to tackle with floods threat.

In a recently issued statement, Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) has said some relief supplies are available to respond quickly in the immediate aftermath if there is serious flooding but urgent funding would be required to ensure assistance reaches those most in need. The PHF called on the government to request support quickly in the event of an emergency and also on donors to support the government and humanitarian community in its response.

The humanitarian community supports the government’s efforts in developing and implementing a flood preparedness plan at both provincial and federal levels this year.

In the aftermath of two consecutive flood disasters in 2010 and 2011, hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling to rebuild their lives and earn a living.

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2011-12, the floods in Sindh and Balochistan in 2011 caused losses worth $3.4 billion to infrastructure, agriculture, education, health and housing.  While reconstruction in the aftermath of the 2010 floods stood at $10 billion, a loss that could have been reduced substantially by implementing disaster mitigation strategies. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank estimate that an investment of just $27 million backed up with yearly top-ups to mitigate disasters could minimise losses substantially.