4 million flood-hit Pakistanis still homeless: Red Cross
More than four million Pakistanis are still homeless six months after historic floods devastated the South Asian country, the Red Cross said Friday.
"Six months on from the devastating flooding in Pakistan, more than four million people remain in a desperate situation without adequate shelter," said the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in a statement.
Families who have begun leaving camps and temporary shelters have returned to find that their homes are no longer inhabitable, leading to a "secondary wave of displacement."
"The cruelty of this disaster is that millions of people were driven from their homes by the floods. They have endured miserable conditions, living for months under canvas or tarpaulins," said Gocha Guchashvili, IFRC flood operations coordinator in Pakistan.
"Now they are returning home to almost nothing. Their houses, their fields and their livelihoods are ruined," she noted.
Catastrophic monsoon rains that swept through the country in July and August affected 21 million people, destroyed 1.7 million homes and damaged 5.4 million acres of arable land.
The IFRC urged donors to dig deep, saying that its appeal of 130 million swiss francs (135 million dollars) is only 59 percent covered.
"Full funding will allow the IFRC to support 130,000 families in their recovery over two years," it noted.
© 2011 AFP