Statement by Mr. Muhammad Ayub, First Secretary, at the UNICEF Executive Board Meeting on 09 June 2009

Thank you Mr. President,

Allow me to thank you Mr. President for your able stewardship of the Board. Let me also join others in thanking the Executive Director for her statement.

Our delegation wishes to thank the Executive Director for drawing the Boardís attention to the plight of over 2 million people, especially women and children, rendered homeless due to recent development in Pakistanís North-West region.

Mr. President,

These dislocated people had to abandon their homes, their live stocks and their crops in search of peace and security. They are faced with shortage of food, water, medicines, increased threat of spread of disease and hardship in summer. A large number of schools in the affected areas are completely destroyed.

The fund situation remains very dismal with only 25% coverage of the Humanitarian Response Plan. Without fresh commitments, the UN humanitarian response operation will be seriously hindered. The country is already burdened by 2 million Afghan refugees.

Fully cognizant of the sufferings of the affected people, the government of Pakistan is taking all measures to provide prompt assistance and succor.

As was noted by the Executive Director in the opening statement, the task is enormous.

Pakistan greatly appreciates the support provided by UNICEF in the affected areas through setting up of schools and bringing water and sanitation to displaced families.

We urge UNICEF to redouble its efforts. By the same token, we appeal the international community and other UN agencies to rise to the challenge.

Thank you for attention.