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Islamabad, 10 Oct 06

A year has passed since the horrific earthquake in Pakistan that left over 3 million people displaced and nearly a half a million houses damaged and destroyed. 

Since then, UN-HABITAT has supported the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to establish 12 Housing Reconstruction Centers (HRCs) in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) and North Western Frontier Province (NWFP). 

Over 12,000 people have been trained through 362 training sessions by these HRCs.  UN-HABITAT is responsible for the six HRCs in Kashmir.  The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and German Technical Assistance (GTZ) are responsible for the six Centers in NWFP. 

HRCs provide training on seismic resistant building techniques, capacity building of local authorities, technical advice and public awareness, coordination of training implementation and training quality control of training delivered by master trainers.  The National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) and Emergency Architects (EA) are providing technical expertise to support the program.  The UN-HABITAT program has been funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), with additional support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Despite the success of the program, a huge gap exists in funding.  According to a UN-HABITAT official, a recent evaluation of the reconstruction efforts revealed two important points.  One is that where partner organizations are located, homes are being built back better by implementing seismic resistant techniques.  The second point is that there are not enough partner organizations in the affected areas to reach the entire affected communitytherefore leaving two-thirds of the area uncovered.He saidan estimated $12 million out of a total budget of $2 billion is needed for the project to cover all the affected areas.              


Relevant web sites for further information on earthquake reconstruction:

http://www.erra.gov.pk/WebForms/Housing.aspx
www.un.org.pk
www.nset.org.np
www.archi-urgent.com

 
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