Govt starts immediate cash distribution among flood affectees in country: PM

The government has started immediate distribution of cash relief worth 25000 rupees per family in areas hit by recent flash floods and rains in the country.

In the first phase, the distribution started on Friday among flood affectees of Balochistan including Jhal  Magsi, Khuzdar, Qilla Abdullah which remained worst hit by rains and floods.

Addressing a ceremony organized in Islamabad in this connection, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said all relevant institutions along with international partners are working day in and day out to provide relief to the flood affected people.

He said started in Balochistan on Friday, a total of 37 billion rupees will be distributed through Benazir Income Support Program among flood affectees across the country.

The Prime Minister said following this immediate cash assistance, damage assessment in flood hit areas will be made with the help of provincial governments and international partners.

He said this is a chance for us all to move beyond politics and help our brothers and sisters in need.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal who is also heading the Flood Relief Coordination Committee, said through initial relief operation we provided immediate medical aid, food and basic necessities to the people and now this cash assistance.

He said in the next phase, we are conducting an assessment survey of the damages in collaboration with NDMA and provincial governments through which rehabilitation and reconstruction will be carried out in the flood affected areas.

The Minister said this will be followed by a thorough review of existing infrastructure in the country and re-engineering and overhauling of the same with the help of our international partners including the United Nations, Asian Development Bank and World Bank which are providing us expert services in this regard.

He said this effort is aimed at effectively tackling the natural calamities in future.

Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri joined the ceremony via video link and said through authentic and verified data of BISP, this cash relief will be distributed in a transparent manner among the flood affectees.

She urged all stakeholders to cooperate with the government and point out any loopholes in this effort.

Earlier, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz said this cash relief is not compensation as that will be made on the basis of joint damage assessment which is underway.

He said this cash relief is for those areas which were declared calamity hit or will be declared so in coming days as rains continue to hit.

He said this year witnessed a 150 percent increase in rains in last thirty years in the country.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail, Advisor to Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and others attended the ceremony.

He said hundreds of people died due to these rains and flash floods including our senior army officers and ‘jawans’ who laid their lives while serving their fellow countrymen in pain.

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