South Asia

Britain criticises UN Pakistan flood response

Children at a camp for flood victims along the road from Dadu, in Pakistan's Sindh province
Image caption The UN raised more than $1bn for disaster relief

A British parliamentary committee has criticised the UN for poor leadership during last year's floods in Pakistan, which it said led to delays and left millions in need of assistance.

The International Development Committee said the UN used only two thirds of more than $1bn it raised for relief.

Confusion and organisational constraints were cited as the reasons.

The flooding affected nearly 20 million people and led to the largest appeal for money ever launched by the UN.

The International Development Committee said too many agencies and charities had been brought in, with some meetings attended by as many as 600 groups.

It also warned that climate change and population growth would mean increased need for disaster relief in the future.

But it said it did not want to discourage future donations to disasters. The committee also praised the generosity of ordinary people after the floods.

About 1,750 people died in last year's floods in Pakistan, and up to 20 million people were affected.

They started in the mountainous north and surged south, destroying 1.2m homes and damaging about 14% of Pakistan's land under cultivation.

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