Pakistan May Take Years to Recover from Floods

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The Red Cross and Red Crescent said rebuilding Pakistan after the floods can take five years, reports Pakistan Link. The floods have affected 20 million people, killed up to 1,600 and left 2 million homeless.

“Crops are gone. Infrastructure is gone, including canals --  community canals and irrigation canals. To bring that back is going to take a long time,” said Bekele Geleta, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The Red Cross says foreign donors are reacting too slowly. Only a quarter of the $459 million in aid needed for initial relief has arrived. The UN is worried about a second wave of death, especially from waterborne diseases. Geleta, an Ethiopian, compared the situation to a famine where notice is not taken until it's too late. The United States remains hopeful that a cholera outbreak can be averted, though at least one case has been confirmed. Mark Ward, acting director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) office for foreign disaster assistance said an early warning system has been set up by the WHO to quickly detect cholera and other waterborne diseases.