Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, this week offered the agency’s immediate support with emergency relief and recovery following a massive earthquake in Kashmir on Saturday that claimed more than 33,000 lives.
In a letter to Pakistan’s President, General Pervez Musharraf, Mrs. Tibaijuka expressed her dismay and condolences and pledged immediate assistance. At the same time, UN-HABITAT staff and experts were sent to Pakistan to help both the government and the United Nations Resident Coordinator effectively address and coordinate immediate and transition elements related to shelter and settlements recovery.
UN-HABITAT also appealed to the donor community for approximately US$ 8 million to bring relief to more than 150,000 families affected by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck close to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Saturday morning claiming more than 33,000 lives and causing widespread devastation.
Although tremors were felt as far afield as Kabul and Delhi, the main areas affected have been Kashmir and Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province.
Citing recent lessons learned in disaster recovery operations, Mrs. Tibaijuka has reiterated a plea to sister agencies, non-governmental organizations, and UN-HABITAT partners to ensure that initiation of recovery programming in the earliest stages of crisis response, can ease the transition from emergency, through reconstruction to genuine recovery and development.
For details of the UN-HABITAT response see: UN-HABITAT’s Contribution to the South Asia Earthquake Flash Appeal