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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
New phase in Pakistan quake aid
Muzaffarabad rubble
The UN wants people to be ready for next winter
The United Nations has launched a $300m (159m) rebuilding plan to help tens of thousands of Pakistanis displaced by last October's devastating earthquake.

The 12-month plan aims to ensure that the services quake victims received in camps over the last few months return with them to the villages and hamlets.

The UN already has $100m and is urging countries who pledged donations to redirect their funds to this effort.

More than 73,000 people were killed and three million displaced by the quake.

The recovery programme was drafted with the help of the Pakistan government and voluntary organisations.

We want to make sure that the services people have had access to in the camps will follow them home
Jan Vandemoortele
UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Pakistan

"We believe we had a successful relief phase behind us," said the UN's humanitarian co-ordinator in Pakistan, Jan Vandemoortele.

"We want to sustain the success into the early recovery and reconstruction phase."

The UN has begun training teachers and health workers, as well as builders who can help reconstruct some of the 600,000 destroyed homes.

Helicopters needed

Other priorities include ensuring there is enough water and sanitation, food, seeds, fertiliser and small livestock to help restore people's livelihoods.

"We want to make sure that the services people have had access to in the camps will follow them home," Mr Vandemoortele said.

He said he was confident that the countries which promised $6.2bn last November to help rebuild the stricken area would help fund the remaining $200m of the plan.

The additional funds will provide helicopters to help deliver aid to the areas still inaccessible by roads, he said.

Of the 300,000 people who were forced to spend last winter in camps in Pakistan, at least 200,000 had now returned home.

The remaining 100,000 still in camps are either from urban centres that were completely flattened by the quake, or are from rural areas and are facing land disputes, physical disabilities or other problems.

"This plan will help tremendously in getting people back on their feet again, so that when winter comes - and it's only six months away - they are ready to face it," Mr Vandemoortele said.

"If not, we will see the same mass movement of people again, and have another emergency on our hands."

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