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Thursday, March 23, 2017
CAFOD distributes urgently-needed tents in Pakistan
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¬†CAFOD is providing thousands of families with much needed shelter following last week's devastating earthquake in South Asia. The agency's partner Caritas Pakistan has received tents from Lahore at their warehouse in Manshera, close to the worst affected areas in northern Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The tents will go to communities in earthquake-affected areas. CAFOD is working closely with other agencies in the UK as part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal, as well as their partners in Pakistan and India to provide emergency aid to those in need. The British public has so far pledged £12 million to the DEC appeal. Tariq Raza is the Emergency Field Coordinator with Caritas Pakistan. Over the last week he has spent time in badly hit Balakot, which he described as "flattened, with not one house standing." He said locals there survived by eating grass, but many still face death if no tents are provided to protect against freezing temperatures during the snow season. Elsewhere, villages are still cut off and hundreds of thousands of people need urgent medical attention and shelter, along with, blankets, plastic sheeting and cooking utensils. Caritas Pakistan has already identified four villages near the town of Balakot that they hope to be able to reach in the coming days. Dr Mateen Ahmed Shaheen of Caritas Pakistan said: "If people are not provided with adequate shelter against the severe winter, there is a high risk of acute respiratory infections as well as hypothermia. Tents are needed that can preserve heat - that is tents that people can use their traditional braziers inside." The 8 October earthquake is Pakistan's worst natural disaster. It is estimated that over 50,000 people were killed and 57,000 injured.
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