Pak unable to provide cash compensation to flood victims before March 2011

Islamabad, Feb 5(ANI): Pakistan's Finance Ministry has expressed its inability to provide cash compensation to last year's flood victims before March 2011, according to official sources.

The sources said the Pakistan government has so far received 170 million dollars from the World Bank and 190 million dollars from the United States to compensate the flood affectees, but it will not be able to collect further aid before March 2011.

Federal Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh presided over a meeting of the provincial chief secretaries to discuss the flood response and cash transfers to the flood affectees.

The meeting deliberated in details the mechanism of the disbursement of the compensation money and related issues like preparation of an outline for the operational manual and implementation process.

The chief secretaries briefed the meeting on the first phase of the payment of 20,000 rupees per affected family, while the payment of another 80,000 rupees per family was discussed in the light of the available financial resources.

The Punjab Chief Secretary informed the meeting that rehabilitation centres had been closed in the province after the disbursement of 20,000 rupees per family.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 166,000 people are still displaced after the devastating floods swept away homes and drowned livestock last year.

"After the devastating floods hit Pakistan in July 2010, some 166,000 people are still displaced and living in over 240 camps and spontaneous settlements," the UNHCR spokesperson said.

"This is substantially down from the peak levels in September and October 2010 when 3.278 million people were living in camps, but it still represents a substantial population in need of help," he added. (ANI)

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