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Seven Million People In Pakistan Still Without Shelter Since Flooding, U.N. Says

Nearly three months after major floods hit large portions of Pakistan, at least seven million people are still without shelter, Stacey Winston, a U.N. spokesperson, said at a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports.

More than 1.9 million homes were destroyed, she said. Winston also “estimated that 14 million people were in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, saying that the United Nations distributed food rations among 2.5 million people this month in 39 flood-affected districts” (10/19).

In its latest estimates, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said more than 2.2 million hectares of crops were lost because of the flooding, which has affected an area bigger than the Netherlands, Dawn.com reports. The agency also said 20.2 million people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan. “Also, since the start of the response, essential medication has been provided to cover the potential health needs of 5.15 million people,” the news service writes. UNICEF also reported an increase in the number of polio cases (10/20).

“As of 14 October, 78 cases of polio had been reported, up 26 percent from last year,” the U.N. News Centre writes, noting that UNICEF said its polio immunization campaigns had reached almost nine million children. “As winter looms, UNICEF said it will provide families with clothing and hygiene supplies, and will also pre-position therapeutic feeding supplies and health kits, including obstetric materials,” according to the news service. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s appeal for $2 billion to help flood survivors “is just one-third funded” (10/19).

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