Pakistan: CAFOD pledges relief

CAFOD  has pledged an initial £100,000 in emergency funds in the wake of flooding that is devastating north-west Pakistan. And as the country braces itself for further monsoon storms the agency is  working with partner organisations on the ground to support those most affected.

Lucy Morris, Programme Officer for Pakistan, said: “The situation is desperate and with more rains on the way we are concerned that more people will die and the floods will reach further into areas that are as yet unaffected or where communities have already been displaced. Those already hit by the floods will find it difficult to cope with more heavy rain without emergency support.

"An estimated 2.5 million people desperately need help in north-west Pakistan, Baluchistan and Punjab. Food and water are in short supply and the spread of diarrhoea and cholera among the homeless is a very real fear. It is vital we get urgent supplies such as temporary shelter, food, water and cooking materials to the region immediately.

“Many of these people have already suffered during the earthquake in 2005 and also as a result of the ongoing conflict. The few possessions and means of survival they had, have now been washed away."

CAFOD partner organisations are on the ground in north-west Pakistan, Baluchistan and Punjab where they are supporting communities during the worst flooding experienced by the country in three decades. Latest reports indicate that north-west Pakistan is the worst hit area where the highest concentration of deaths has so far been recorded.

Food and water are in short supply and the spread of diarrhoea and cholera among the homeless is a very real fear.

An estimated 2.5 million people have been displaced nationally with fears that water-borne diseases will spread among those left without shelter and adequate sanitation. Food and drinking water are in short supply, and with many roads and bridges swept away by the torrential flood water, getting aid to those most affected is an acute challenge.

Aid workers are already preparing for a new round of flooding in southern Punjab and Sindh provinces in the south as rivers continue to swell with monsoon water. A state of emergency has been declared in five districts in Sindh while hundreds of villages have been affected in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populated area.

Although CAFOD partners have had to evacuate some of their offices due to rising floodwaters, they are working closely with those on the ground to assess the changing situation and ensure relief efforts reach those who need it most.

The US also announced last weekend that it would provide $10m (£6.3m) in emergency assistance. It is also giving rescue boats, water filtration units, prefabricated steel bridges and thousands of packaged meals which have been distributed with the help of the Pakistani Army.

On Thursday the Disasters Emergency Committee will be announcing an emergency appeal.

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