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 Pakistan Earthquake - a year after

Courtesy: The World Bank

The earthquake that hit Pakistan on October 8, 2005 is arguably the most debilitating natural disaster in the country's history. It left 73,000 people dead, 2.8 million without shelter, and over a million without an income.

The World Bank has committed US$870 million for earthquake recovery and reconstruction. This includes US$220 million for housing reconstruction and US$85 million for livelihood support.

BACKGROUND
- Fatalities: 73,000
- Severely injured or disabled: 70,000
- People without shelter: 2.8 million
- Houses destroyed or damaged: 570,000
- People losing their source of livelihood: 1.13 million
- Affected areas: 30,000 sq. km of Azad Jammu Kashmir (4 districts) and North West Frontier Province (5 districts)
(Source: Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority - ERRA) and Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment Report for Pakistan Earthquake )

Housing: The earthquake left 2.8 million homeless, and 570,000 houses damaged, with 90% requiring total replacement. A year after, close to 75% of those in need are receiving a second tranche of a housing grant to help them rebuild.

2.8 million people lost homes in the earthquake
Over 570,000 houses were damaged, 90% requiring total replacement

With World Bank support, Pakistan's Rural Housing Reconstruction Program has reached several milestones:
Second installment of housing grants disbursed to more than 75% of eligible households, totaling US$467 million.
Reconstruction of 25% of damaged houses started.
450,000 people signed Memorandum of Understanding to reconstruct their homes.
Over 80,000 supervisors and house owners trained on seismically safe construction designs and methods.

Entire program guided by a set of principles to help people rebuild safer, earthquake-resistant homes
A detailed housing damage assessment and beneficiary eligibility survey was carried out, covering over 600,000 housing units
Eligible rural families receive reconstruction grants of US$1,200 or US$2,900, depending on the scale of the destruction
Families received an initial payment of around US$400 to buy materials for temporary shelter to get through the harsh Himalayan winter

Although reconstruction activity will continue through the winter at lower altitudes, it is expected to resume at full-scale in all affected areas in early spring.

Livelihoods: More than 1 million people lost their jobs after the earthquake. With World Bank assistance, 85% of the more than 240,000 eligible families are currently receiving livelihood support.

Some 500,000 households in the affected areas lost their livelihoods
More than one million people lost their jobs
Thousands of women lost their husbands who provided the family income

Within four months of the program's launch, eligible families were identified despite the remoteness of the worst affected areas
85% of the 240,895 eligible families are currently receiving livelihood support in form of cash grants of US$50 per month
So far, the program has disbursed more than US$35 million to beneficiaries

Employment and source of income prior to the earthquake were used as indicators to determine eligibility for livelihood grants
Priority given to most vulnerable groups, including female-headed households, children and orphans, and the poor

About 70% of the targeted families live in areas where winter conditions are extremely harsh
As the six month livelihood program nears its completion, demands for extension have already been voiced

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