ISLAMABAD - The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and United Nations (UN) have jointly launched the Early Recovery Working Group (ERWG) for a smooth transition in restoring community infrastructure and livelihood opportunities in flood-hit areas. NDMA Chairman Lt. General (Retd) Nadeem Ahmed said this while addressing a press briefing at PM secretariat on Saturday. He said the ERWG would provide with strategic and technical guidance during the implementation process till the end of this year. He informed the media that NDMAs struggle to launch ERRG plan was aimed at moving forward from the relief phase to early recovery of the flood-hit areas. He said Pakistan experienced the worst ever disaster in its history, as the torrential waters swept across major parts of Pakistan. He said that following the completion of flood relief phase last month, the recovery phase was launched in order to build back better with an emphasis on applying principles of sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. He said the NDMA had already developed sectoral guidelines that would be fed into the ERWG for making informed decisions adding the ERWG would have representation from the federal ministries, provincial and district line departments, international and local NGOs and the UN agencies. He said the UNDP would take lead on behalf of the humanitarian community. The Government of Pakistan has also announced that the residual relief will continue to be provided to flood affected families in five districts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces. The NDMA Chairman said the authority took lead in managing effective coordination among all the stakeholders during the devastating floods and the situation had fairly been normalized in a short span of time. According to details provided by the NDMA after its chairmans briefing to media, currently only 2,36,889 acres of land is submerged against a horrific 2.4 million hectares of land in November 2010. As a positive consequence of this, majority of affected population living in the relief camps have already been repatriated. In Punjab, there were 327 camps with 1,16,295 affectees, while now there are no camps left with 100 per cent repatriation. In Sindh, at the height of floods, an aggregate of 4,682 camps housed 1,815,961 affectees, while at present only 83 camps are left with 1,00,016 affectees with 95 per cent repatriation. There were 825 camps with a population of 915,463 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while now there are no camps with 100 per cent repatriation. Initially, in Balochistan, there were 67 camps with 1,50,343 affectees, while at present 32 camps are left with a population of 22,992 with an 84 per cent repatriation ratio. There were 2 camps with 900 affectees in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, but presently with 100 per cent repatriation there are no camps left in the area. There were previously 25 camps with a population of 25,470 in Gilgit Baltistan, but with 100 per cent repatriation there are no camps left in the area. In aggregate, there were a total of 5,928 camps housing 3,024,432 affected people, but presently only 115 camps are left with only 1,23,008 people living in them with a 96 per cent aggregate repatriation ratio. In the Health sector, four major diseases - ARI (Acute Respiratory Infections), Skin Diseases, Acute Diarrohea and Suspected Malaria - were reported. At the peak, 33 per cent cases of ARI were reported while now the ratio has fallen down to 31 per cent. In the context of Skin Disease, 12 per cent cases were reported, while at present it has come down to nine per cent. As far as Acute Diarrhoea is concerned, initially its reported ratio was 12 per cent, while at present it has also gone down to six per cent. In the case of Suspected Malaria, initially the ratio was seven per cent, but it has been reduced to five per cent only. This indicates a marked improvement in the health scenario in the flood-hit areas. The NDMA data further revealed that the 2010 monsoon floods affected lives of over 18 million people and took an enormous toll on the rural poor. Around 80 percent of people in the affected areas depend on agriculture to provide for their families. A large majority lost their immediate and future sources of food and income like standing crops, seed stocks, livestock, fishery assets, farming equipment and tools. The Rabi cropping for the year 2010/11 is 1-2 per cent higher than the targets. In the flood-affected districts, the Rabi coverage is 60-100 per cent as compared to that of the preceding year. The details noted down that as a part of UN Appeal, Agriculture cluster requested USD 170.6 million for the relief and early recovery period. About 60 per cent of the amount has been received which comes to USD$ 97.40 million. The Gap between the required and received funding comes to USD$ 73.20 million. The said details said the NDMA focused on vulnerable groups and female-headed households, which received tailored inputs and training through implementing partners, specialised in delivering support to women in Pakistan. The data added that a special oil-seed support programme was designed for the southern Sindh and the right bank areas, which were not able to cultivate proper Rabi crops. A large livestock support program is underway, supporting about 0.5 million households. A limited cash/food for work initiative is supported by the DFID in Sindh. The Kharif planning focus more on filling in the gaps, addressing small infrastructure issues, and providing livelihood support to the most vulnerable farmers and women through kitchen gardening and poultry restocking. The NDMA details revealed that the authority and relevant clusters had developed agriculture and food strategies with consultation of cluster members, donors and implementing partners for the early recovery. In addition to cluster, Federal and provincial governments have provided large Rabi support. Federal Government provided the support in the range of four billion and provincial governments about eight billion. There are additional interventions by the donors, like USAID through four rural support programme and local philanthropist. About Ataabad Lake, NDMA Chairman said that NDMA had been monitoring the calamity since it started its devastations and had incessantly been working in coordination with all the stakeholders and line departments to resolve the crisis by dewatering the lake and normalising life in the adjoining areas. NDMA also initiated coordinated activities in the affected areas of Balochistan, some parts of Sindh and Punjab, where a massive Richter 7.3 quake shook at 1:23 am on January 19, 2011. NDMA coordinated the relief and rescue activities in the fire-ravaged area of Shah Alam Market in Lahore, where three persons were killed and over 30 were injured and the fire had demolished dozens of buildings.