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WHO Facing Shortage Of Funds As It Works To Scale Up Humanitarian Response To Pakistan Flooding

WHO representative Guido Sabatinelli has assured Pakistan health officials that the organization “will be scaling [up] its humanitarian response in all the flood-affected areas of Sindh to resolve health issues faced by the displaced people,” News International reports. WHO officials say Norway, the U.S., the U.K. and Spain are “the only donor countries which have pledged funds … to assist millions of flood-affected Pakistanis” and that “these donations account to only nine percent of the funding needs of the health sector to properly respond to the emergency,” the newspaper writes (Bhatti, 10/8).

Sabatinelli said the WHO “is already working side by side with the Sindh provincial and district health authorities to comprehensively address health problems, but more funds are urgently needed in order to save precious human lives,” the Express Tribune reports (Jafri, 10/9). According to News International, the shortage of funds “has stretched the capacity of the health authorities and the organization to address the factors contributing to the main mortality risks such as acute diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, measles, malnutrition, and maternal and neo-natal mortality” (10/8).