Aid Coordination a Challenge in Pakistani Flood Disaster, UN Official Says

The United Nations acknowledges that there is room for improvement in its ongoing recovery efforts in Pakistan’s flood-ravaged communities.

Manuel Bessler, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan, has described the U.N.’s response in Pakistan as “far from perfect.”

“We have to look at how the humanitarian system responds to such a mega disaster,” he told Megan Rowling of AlertNet in a recent interview. “Looking at the regions affected, this one amounts to what would normally be three disasters in their own right. There is room to improve.”

Coordination of aid activities has particularly been a huge challenge in Pakistan given the number of government agencies, both at the national and provincial levels, that need to be consulted, Bessler explained. The extent of the flooding has also prompted the U.N. to set up hubs in different cities, he added.

The U.N. is now looking at ways to improve its humanitarian and recovery efforts in Pakistan by determining whether clusters should be led by neutral individuals rather than designated agencies to prevent bias and competition, he said. 

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.