A Mountain to Climb
What needs to be done to prevent further deaths following the Pakistan earthquake and to enable survivors to rebuild their lives and livelihoods
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The 8 October 2005 earthquake — Pakistan’s biggest ever natural disaster — generated sympathy and support from people around the world. The Government of Pakistan reacted swiftly and with remarkable energy. However, major and immediate challenges remain. Six weeks after the earthquake, the response is not yet being organized in a manner that ensures that peoples’ rights and needs are being met, according to international humanitarian principles. There are difficult challenges, but they can all be met. The relief operation is now achieving real results. Though the resources need to be substantially and urgently increased from current levels, the overall funding requirement is well within the capacity of the international community. Tried and tested strategies for reconstruction can ensure that the funds available are well spent.