Pakistan Government and Internation donors join hands to enhance and Response in Sindh
SUKKUR (Pakistan) – A new Humanitarian Response Facility (HRF) has been opened in Sukkur on Thursday. This HRF will be the second one in Sindh (and the sixth in Pakistan overall) following the construction and hand-over of the HRF in Hyderabad to the Sindh PDMA in April 2015.
The groundbreaking was attended by the Director General PDMA Sindh Syed Salman Shah, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia Jurek Juszczyk, Consul-General of Japan Akira Ouchi and WFP Deputy Country Director Stephen Gluning.
“This network of humanitarian response facilities has proven critical in the government’s response to natural disasters such as floods as well as the earthquake in October this year,” said WFP Country Director Stephen Gluning. “We are extremely grateful to the government for their facilitation as well as for the generous funding from international donors. More people are reached faster with relief items already in place at provincial level.”
“We have witnessed how HRFs have played a significant role in disaster preparedness and management, especially the one in Jalozai promptly providing assistance to those affected by this year’s earthquake. As the largest donor to the project and a country which has experienced repeated natural disaster like Pakistan, Japan is glad to see its assistance being fully utilized and will continue to support Pakistan to strengthen its capability to manage disasters” said Consul-General of Japan Akira Ouchi.
Australia has contributed AUD 2.4 million to establish these facilities across Pakistan. “It is vital to prepare ahead for disasters. Investing in this response facility network will be crucial to saving lives,” Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson said. “Australia works closely with the Government of Pakistan to provide help to Pakistanis affected by crises and, since 2010, has provided assistance of over AUD90 million,” Ms Adamson said.
Syed Salman Shah, while appreciating WFP efforts in reaching out to people in need, especially women and children affected by malnutrition or natural disasters, assured WFP of the provincial government’s continued support in its noble endeavors. “The PDMA has provided 10 acres of land for the construction of the HRF in Sukkur,” he said.
WFP has been engaged in developing a network of response facilities in eight strategic locations across Pakistan. The project is implemented in close coordination with the NDMA and respective PDMAs. Feeding into a network of semi-permanent warehouses (Flospans) built for disaster preparedness at district level, the HRFs are used for the pre-positioning of food and non-food items and act as a staging point for the response to sudden onset emergencies. To date, five HRFs (Hyderabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Muzaffargarh and Lahore) have been constructed and handed over to the provincial governments thanks to the generous funding of the people and the governments of Japan, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United States of America.
Due to its strategic location, proximity to key logistic corridors and accessibility in times of floods and natural disasters, the HRF in Sukkur will not only serve as a logistics base for the northern districts of Sindh, but also the bordering districts of Balochistan which are frequently affected by floods. With an estimated cost of US$3.5 million, the Sukkur HRF will be a state of the art facility designed according to international standards including seismic resistance, provision of alternate energy solutions (such as solar lights and backup generators), steel racking as well as sewage and drainage systems.