The Pakistani government has asked international relief groups, including the United Nations, to shut down their operations in aid of last year’s monsoon flood victims by the end of January 2011.
The instruction was included in a letter sent by Lt. Gen. Nadeem Ahmed, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, to all foreign non-governmental organizations, according to a Dec. 31 report by The Express Tribune. The Pakistani newspaper did not say when the letter was sent.
In the letter, Ahmed said his agency “highly appreciates the support by the entire humanitarian community, including the UN and their lead coordination agencies during the relief operation for one of the worst natural disasters ever faced by a nation,” and that “it would not have been possible for the Government of Pakistan to manage the situation so effectively on its own, without help from the humanitarian community in delivering relief.” But now, the government is “satisfied to note that the situation is approaching a stable stage very fast.”
The letter indicates that except for some areas of Sindh and Balochistan, relief operations in all affected regions should conclude by Jan. 31.
The news came as the U.N. affirmed a need for continued assistance to Pakistani flood victims.
Rauf-Engin Soysal, the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy for assistance to Pakistan, and Timo Pakkala, U.N. resident coordinator in the Asian country, noted in a Dec. 31 joint message: “Millions of Pakistanis still require relief assistance and full recovery of livelihoods and infrastructure will take years. Through resilience and determination and with the support of national partners and the international community, the country will overcome this challenging period.”
According to the U.N., only 51 percent of the USD2 billion appeal to aid flood-affected Pakistanis has been funded.