GENEVA / PAKISTAN RELIEF UPDATE

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24-Aug-2010 00:02:01
UN officials describe the humanitarian situation in Pakistan as critical. WFP says it already has enough food in Pakistan to feed six million people for one month but distribution has been hampered by a lack of resources and the country's shattered infrastructure. UNTV

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STORY: GENEVA/ PAKISTAN RELIEF UPDATE
TRT: 2.01
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ FRENCH/ NATS

DATELINE: 24 AUGUST 2010, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations

24 AUGUST 2010, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, Press Room III, Palais des Nations
3. SOUNDBITE (French) Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director of United Nations Information Service in Geneva:
“The humanitarian situation in Pakistan is extremely difficult. Specifically in the South where the main worry is the rise of the river Indus which threatens the city of the region and may lead to further floods. According to Pakistani authorities, the number of people affected by the floods has now reached 17.2 millions.”
4. Close up, journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Emilia Casella, Spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“The official target for food assistance at the moment is 6 million people over the coming 3 months. Now, we all recognize that the numbers have been rising, and so we expect that to increase.”
6. Med shot, journalists, Press Room III, Palais des Nations:
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Byrs, Spokesperson, UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office:
“We always have this criticism of this slow, aid is reaching people slowly. It’s just in the case of those floods, a matter of logistical constraints. I would like to stress that many roads are still unpassable, they are blocked by mud slides, some roads have been repaired, but no all of them, so we deliver as, WFP said, mostly by air, air-bridge. And you have many bridges which have been washed away, you have several logistical constraints.”
8. Close up, journalist Press Room III Palais des Nations
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Emilia Casella, Spokesperson World Food Programme:
“It’s clear that we haven’t reached all the people that we need to reach and that we have been calling for additional air assets, and additional assistance funds in order to reach them. If we do get that level of donation, of supplies, and of cash to bring in more equipment and food, then we do believe that we can reach all of the people. We have enough food in Pakistan already, at the beginning of this emergency to feed 6 million people for a month.”
10. Wide shot, journalists

STORYLINE

Various United Nations officials at a press conference in Geneva today (24 August) described the humanitarian conditions in Pakistan as critical.

The Director of United Nations Information Service in Geneva, Corinne Momal-Vanian, said that the situation was extremely difficult.

SOUNDBITE (French) Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director of United Nations Information Service in Geneva:
“The humanitarian situation in Pakistan is extremely difficult. Specifically in the South where the main worry is the rise of the river Indus which threatens the city of the region and may lead to further floods. According to Pakistani authorities, the number of people affected by the floods has now reached 17.2 millions.”

She reported that the number of deaths caused by this catastrophe has reached 1,539 while 2,055 have been injured. The number of destroyed or damaged houses is 1.2 million.

World Food Programme (WFP) Spokeswoman Emilia Casella said supply lorries were having to take long detours and aid was being carried in by hand in some areas. Helicopters were also carrying out air drops of high-energy biscuits in the more remote areas.

SOUNDBITE (English) Emilia Casella, Spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“The official target for food assistance at the moment is 6 million people over the coming 3 months. Now, we all recognize that the numbers have been rising, and so we expect that to increase.”

Elizabeth Byrs of the UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (OCHA) told journalists that there were severe logistical restraints hampering the delivery of aid.

SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Byrs, Spokesperson, UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (OCHA):
“We always have this criticism of this slow, aid is reaching people slowly. It’s just in the case of those floods, a matter of logistical constraints. I would like to stress that many roads are still unpassable, they are blocked by mud slides, some roads have been repaired, but no all of them, so we deliver as, WFP said, mostly by air, air-bridge. And you have many bridges which have been washed away, you have several logistical constraints.”

Casella said it already has enough food in Pakistan to feed six million people for a month but distribution has been hampered by a lack of resources and the country's shattered infrastructure.

SOUNDBITE (English) Emilia Casella, Spokesperson World Food Programme:
“It’s clear that we haven’t reached all the people that we need to reach and that we have been calling for additional air assets, and additional assistance funds in order to reach them. If we do get that level of donation, of supplies, and of cash to bring in more equipment and food, then we do believe that we can reach all of the people. We have enough food in Pakistan already, at the beginning of this emergency to feed 6 million people for a month.”

The floods have destroyed more than 1.7m hectares (4.25m acres) of land, which will have a significant impact on the agricultural sector and the country's economic growth.
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