Floods in Asia: UN on Standby to Aid the Southeast, WFP Scales up Assistance in Pakistan

    A flooded street in Thailand. Photo by: Philip Roeland / CC BY-NC-ND

    The United Nations is highly concerned about the floods that have displaced 8 million people in Southeast Asia.

    U.N. relief chief Valerie Amos has commended national governments and emergency responders for their lifesaving efforts in flood-struck Southeast Asia. So far, the disaster has claimed more than 700 in Cambodia and Thailand. In the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam, floods have destroyed crops and vital infrastructure, with millions living in low-lying areas still vulnerable to more destruction.

    “The United Nations and partners stand ready to support those national-led responses where necessary,” Amos said Oct. 16, as quoted by the U.N. News Center.

    As of the weekend, none of the countries had requested international assistance. Nonetheless, several countries have donated aid, including China ($1.5 million), the United States ($1 million) and Japan (tents, blankets, mattresses, water tanks, water purifiers and electricity generators), according to news reports.

    Meanwhile, the World Food Program said Oct. 14 it was continuing to ramp up its operations in Pakistan, where 5 million people are in need of safe drinking water, sanitation services, food, shelter materials and other urgent support following the recent massive flooding.

    WFP, the U.N. News Center reports, is now working double shifts, along with 20 non-governmental organizations, to ensure rapid movement of food from warehouses to distribution points. It said that since Sept. 12, it had already provided lifesaving food rations to 1.2 million people in eight districts of Sindh province.

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    About the author

    • Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.