ISLAMABAD - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM)-led United Nations Shelter Cluster has cautioned that the existing humanitarian stockpiles would exhaust by this week after which, immediate influx of funds would be urgently required to assist flood affectees in Sindh. IOM is, this week, distributing the last of 21,000 emergency shelter and non-food relief item kits that it pre-positioned in Sindh at the beginning of the year in anticipation of the 2011 monsoon, IOM said in a statement on Tuesday. During a conversation with this newspaper by phone, the IOM chief in Pakistan, Hassan Abdel Moneim Mostafa, said that the IOM-led Shelter cluster needed immediate funds to assist hundreds of thousands in need in the flood-hit interior Sindh. Its important that the funds keep coming immediately and continuously so that humanitarian aid reaches out to everybody in need, he said. To a query regarding possible repercussions in case funds arrival witnessed a delay or slackness, the IOM chief said, It would make humanitarian assistance challenging but I hope that the government as well as donors would extend due consideration to this issue to help the international community build up a consolidated humanitarian response to Sindhs monsoon floods. As part of a global agreement, the IOM leads the UN Shelter Cluster across the world. In Pakistan, where 17 UN agencies are reportedly operational, IOM heads the Shelter Cluster that comprises six UN humanitarian agencies and eight INGOs. The Shelter Cluster, the international community including NGOs and INGOs, the Government of Pakistan and the UN stand hand in hand to fight this unfolding challenge of monsoon floods. I hope the humanitarian assistance would help saving lives, building livelihoods and bringing normalcy in floods-ravaged region, Mostafa said. According to IOM, some 18,000 of the kits, each of which includes two plastic tarpaulins, two blankets, a kitchen set and a bucket - enough to meet the needs of 126,000 people - have now been distributed or handed over to local implementing partners for distribution to vulnerable families in the worst flood-affected districts of Sindh. Following UNs appeal of $ 357 million through Pakistan Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan launched last Sunday, the IOM appealed for $ 67 million for Shelter Cluster and made an individual appeal of $ 14.6 million. The IOM spokesperson in Pakistan, Rehmat Salim, told The Nation that no pledges or commitments had so arrived after Sundays humanitarian appeal. A lot of funding is needed and we need a generous donors consideration to defeat the growing challenges emanating out of monsoon floods, he said. Salim quoted international communitys estimations that another disaster coming from health hazards and epidemics would be imminent in flood-hit areas if funds did not arrive in time. In Sindh, the situation is even worse than last years flash floods. The ongoing monsoon floods have brought maximum destruction in most parts of interior Sindh. The water is standing and it would take time to recede. In case there are more rains, things could be worst. Humanitarians funds need to be spend urgently and unhindered, he said The UN Shelter Cluster is almost done with last years humanitarian funds that were part of last years UN Contingency Plan prepared by the international body in consultation with the Government of Pakistan, to respond to 2010 flash floods. The lined up stockpiles have also been either consumed or handed to the UN implementation partners. Next week would turn out to be a real challenge if we dont get enough funds to help out the flood-hit people in Sindh, Salim cautioned. The UN and government estimates suggest that over 6 million people have directly been affected by this years flash floods while over 1.9 million have been displaced and moved to safer locations. The Shelter Cluster requires urgent funding for its 26 projects that primarily involve the provisions of shelter, non-food items (NFIs), coordination and communication. These projects represent the minimum of international support that Pakistan needs to provide Sindhs most desperate, flood-displaced families with the emergency shelter and other essential non-food relief items that they need to survive, the IOM Emergency Advisor for Asia Brian Kelly had said on Monday.