Pakistan flood response: On the ground for early recovery
This past August, the heaviest monsoon rains in the history of Pakistan left thousands of people dead, and millions more directly affected. Serious damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges homes and buildings, complicate and obstruct emergency relief efforts, while Pakistani families struggle to find food, safe drinking water and medical services.
Despite rescue and relief efforts to the most affected communities, entire villages have been severely impacted in Khyber Puktun Khwa, Punjab and Sindh. Thousands of flood-affected communities are living in unhealthy and cramped conditions, with little to no access to safe drinking water, food, sanitation or medical care. As a result, the number of people suffering from acute diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory infections and skin infections continues to climb.
Present and working with local partners in Pakistan since 1998, ICMC medical teams immediately began responding with individual consultations and the distribution of essential medicines through both a static medical clinic in Charsadda District in Khyber Pukhtun Khwa. A mobile medical unit has also tasked with serving the most vulnerable of those displaced in make-shift camps on canal embankments and road sides—especially children, women and Afghan refugees in the Utmanzai settlement.
Supported by funding from Caritas Germany, Caritas Italy and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ICMC is working in close coordination with government entities, UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs to respond to the immediate health needs of the most vulnerable, and to consolidate referral mechanisms with those government hospitals, health centres, private clinics and dispensaries that are still able to operate. Even so, there is an urgent need to expand the current response, especially in the areas of food, shelter and sanitation.
ICMC is continually monitoring the context and status of the situation and the needs of the people affected and will be adapting response programmes accordingly.
ISLAMABAD, 24 August 2010—As flood waters continue to cover acres of land in Pakistan, ICMC makes an urgent appeal to donors to support the organisation’s front-line response to the medical needs of thousands of families in flood-affected areas.
An estimated 18 million people have been affected by Pakistan’s most recent natural disaster, and the sheer scale of the catastrophe has been described by United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon as “almost defying comprehension.” “This is far more than a disaster for Pakistan alone,” he said earlier this week, “this represents one of the greatest tests of global solidarity in our time.”Read more
18 August 2010 (NY Times)—Standing under leaden skies in Pakistan last Sunday, I saw a sea of suffering. Flood waters have washed away thousands of towns and villages. Roads, bridges and homes in every province of the country have been destroyed.Read more
16 August 2010— The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) urges the international community to play its part in meeting the immediate needs of millions of Pakistanis, as well as tens of thousands of Afghan refugees, and also warns that without long-term funding, rebuilding this devastated country will prove virtually impossible.Read more
GENEVA, 6 August 2010—Humanitarian disaster faces Pakistan in the aftermath of the heaviest monsoon rains in the country’s history. Heavy flooding due to these rains has left over 1500 dead and has affected at least 6 million people,most of whom are in urgent need of food, safe drinking water, as well as medical services.Read more