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Pakistan Flood Survivors Face Bleak Future
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Valérie Batselaere, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
September 20, 2010

Pakistan’s super flood is still an ongoing and growing crisis, requiring an around-the-clock response from thousands of local Red Crescent responders and Red Cross teams from across the globe.

Our Response

"We have tapped our reserves, emptied our relief supplies from two regional warehouses and deployed disaster experts in support of this enormous relief operation," said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross alone has:

  • Committed $5 million including financial assistance toward the response
  • Shipped enough basic supplies for 50,000 people
  • Deployed two disaster experts, both with recent experience responding to Haiti’s earthquake
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Displaced flood victims, women and children, wait for food handouts outside a classroom where they taking refuge in a school converted to a relief camp in Sukkur 02 Sep 2019
Displaced flood victims, women and children, wait for food handouts outside a classroom where they taking refuge in a school converted to a relief camp in Sukkur 02 Sep 2019
Source: Reuters
Courtesy AlertNet

Although the floodwaters have started slowly to recede in many areas throughout Pakistan, millions of people remain homeless, hungry and in need of clean water and medical assistance.

In the southern province of Sindh flooding has inundated more than 70 villages and two towns around Manchar Lake, south of Dadu. Recently water levels in the lake rose again and spilled over protective levees, which led to the mass evacuation of tens of thousands of people to surrounding towns and higher ground.

To speed up relief deliveries the Red Cross and Red Crescent is increasingly carrying out distributions through village leaders to ensure that aid items reach entire communities. Since the flooding began more than 650,000 people have been reached with emergency assistance, including tent and food distributions.

Jail City, a camp of 7,000 displaced people near Thatta in southern Sindh, is an example of one of these communities.

The Red Cross Red Crescent is providing 33,000 liters of purified drinking daily, which allows for approximately 5 liters per person, per day.  The Red Cross and Red Crescent is also operating a mobile clinic in the camp, which can treat up to 200 people per day, who are primarily suffering from sanitation-related illnesses.

The displaced villagers are living in close proximity to each other and many have brought their cattle and livestock, which contribute to the hygiene problems.

“Before we set up the tanks with drinking water, people only had access to contaminated water,” said Claus Muchow, who leads the German Red Cross water and sanitation team working in the area. “Now that they have access to safe water, we have to promote its value to their health.”

The Pakistan Red Crescent, which has a permanent presence in the country and is leading the emergency response, has organized hygiene promotion sessions for women and children living in the camp to prevent further illness. 

“Many continue to drink the contaminated water because they don’t like the taste of chlorinated water,” said Muchow, whose team is also building additional latrines to improve the camp’s sanitation.

Over the next 18 months, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society is planning to help approximately 900,000 people with assistance from its Red Cross partners around the world.

You can help people affected by disasters, like the floods in Pakistan, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.  Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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