AS against the widely held expert view and, indeed, common wisdom, predicting more difficult times ahead in the aftermath of the floods, when disease and scarcity would inevitably jack up prices to a dangerous high, the National Disaster Management Authority is labouring under the impression that the worst is over. As if the rescue work, without the follow-up action of providing adequate food, shelter, medical treatment and the wherewithal to restart life, was the only difficult part of the relief operation For an organisation directly concerned with disaster management to think on these lines does not presage a satisfactory handling of the calamity. The worst flooding and threat to vital barrages and other infrastructure might be over, but the most challenging task of rebuilding and rehabilitation has not even begun. There is evidence of rising prices, not only in the affected areas but also in big cities. The Prime Ministers warning of a scary figure of 20 percent inflation and his Finance Ministers assessment raising it to 25 percent, have not surprised economists; for the countrys already tottering economy has been severely jolted by the devastating floods that Mr Gilani says have inflicted a loss of $43 billion. The UN summit has even asked for a freeze on Pakistans debt. The massive unemployment and slashing down of GDP growth to 2.5 percent would reflect an economic crisis of grave proportion. While the directly affected are nearly 20 million, the impact would be countrywide. Besides, unless 'gastro and malaria cases are checked, we might soon have fearsome epidemics on our hands. It must be noted that infections and viruses have already reached well beyond the areas ravaged by the floods. The government and the NDMA should take note of the WHOs warning seriously. As the gravity and extent of the catastrophe unfolds in its varied forms - the absence of the means of subsistence and of simple living and the spread of epidemics in a healthcare void - the international community is waking up to the need for different types of assistance. It is a different matter that the low credibility level of the government does not make the world happy entrusting it with money, and thus it prefers reputable, trustworthy NGOs to take the charge of saving this helpless segment of humanity. Strangely, in this scenario and for all the official rhetoric of monetary assistance to meet initial needs, the affected persons are, by and large, being helped by philanthropic individuals and welfare organisations to stand on their feet. The NDMA had better review its position.