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Pakistan PM Shehbaz refuses to launch flood relief dashboard

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Islamabad | October 4, 2022 4:29:57 AM IST
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has refused to inaugurate a dashboard built to monitor flood relief assistance in the country, leaving his federal ministers red-faced, local media reported.

The flood relief dashboard was designed by the IT ministry of Pakistan, as per Dawn newspaper.

Dawn reported that the Prime Minister on Monday issued a rebuke and expressed visible frustration after finding inadequacies in a dashboard built to monitor flood relief assistance, saying that the board was not being updated in real-time.

"If real-time information doesn't arrive in this then it's of no use. Then we are wasting each other's time. I'm not going to inaugurate this today," he said when informed that data from the meteorological department was not yet integrated with the dashboard, as per Dawn.

"This should be trashed," he said, calling it a "joke". "I'm not negating your effort but this is not the dashboard we all imagined. This is a stationary thing in which you fill in figures."

According to the publication, several federal ministers including Ahsan Iqbal, Aminul Haque, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Tariq Bashir Cheema were also present at the event.

More than 2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed and around 7.9 million people are reportedly displaced, including some 598,000 people living in relief camps, according to reports by the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) of the affected provinces.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has revised its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold to USD 816 million from USD 160 million as it seeks to control a rise in water-borne diseases after an unprecedented flood situation in the country that has claimed over 1700 lives.

"We are now entering a second wave of death and destruction," Julien Harneis, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan said at a Geneva briefing. Harneis was quoted as saying by Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

As of September 30, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recorded nearly 1,700 deaths and more than 12,800 injuries since mid-June. The highest death rates were recorded in Sindh (747), Balochistan (325) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (307).

Estimates indicate that more than 7,000 schools are currently being used to host displaced populations, while an estimated 25,100 schools have been damaged. (ANI)

 
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