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Report: Aid shortage in Pakistan leaves flood victims in limbo

By the CNN Wire Staff
Jannat Khatoon, right, lies outside a Hyderabad, Pakistan, hospital while a relative takes care of Khatoon's ill children.
Jannat Khatoon, right, lies outside a Hyderabad, Pakistan, hospital while a relative takes care of Khatoon's ill children.
  • Oxfam says large areas in Sindh province remain underwater
  • The UN's aid appeal for the country is only 38 percent funded
  • 10 million people need immediate food assistance, Oxfam says
  • The widespread devastation means many farmers cannot plant crops

(CNN) -- Cases of disease are increasing in flood-ravaged Pakistan, but international relief funding for the disaster is drying up, the Oxfam aid organization said Friday.

"When the world's attention was focused on Pakistan's flood victims, there was a chance of seeing substantial aid being delivered. But as the worst of the flood waters have receded, so has the promise of significant funding," Neva Khan, Oxfam's director in Pakistan, said in a statement.

But donations are still crucial to help people survive, the organization said.

Three months after the devastating flooding, large areas in the southern province of Sindh remain underwater, and 7 million people are "still without adequate shelter."

"While the response from some donors and the public has been generous, the U.N.'s Pakistan flood appeal for just over $2 billion, is only 38 percent funded," the organization said.

Citing United Nations figures, Oxfam said 10 million people need immediate food assistance.

"The funding shortfall is so serious that existing regular food rations to 3.5 million people could be in jeopardy," the organization said.

The floods caused $9.7 billion in damage to homes, roads, farms and other parts of the southwestern Asian country, according to estimates from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Video: Aerial tour: Flood-ravaged Pakistan
Video: Rebuilding Pakistan after the floods

The flooding began in early August, and flood waters continued to rage in the countryside more than seven weeks later.

More than 1,700 people died due to the flooding, according to Pakistani authorities, while more than 20 million were displaced.

The rushing waters washed out large swaths of farmland, destroying crops and families' livelihoods.

"The water is six feet high. No one will be able to plant anything," said Mohamad Razi, 19, according to Oxfam. "We should be planting next month, but we will have to wait a year."

The Sindh province resident, who is staying at a relief camp, said many have no choice but to rely on assistance from others.

"We have to depend on the government for help. We have nothing here," he said.

Last week, United States officials announced a $2 billion, multiyear security assistance package to help Pakistan fight extremists taking refuge in safe havens along its border with Afghanistan -- noting that the Pakistani military is stretched thin dealing with flood disaster relief.