07 Sep 2010

Pakistan - AIF Situation Update - 8/9/2010

Having being the first South African NGO to respond to the Pakistan Floods in late July, by providing tents and other much needed supplies to the region, the Al Imdaad Foundation then dispatched our second team to the district in order to conduct a thorough assessment of the present and future needs of the people in the country. During our stay in Pakistan, our team was able to airlift much needed emergency supplies to the cut off province of Punjab, on a C130 Hercules Military Cargo Aircraft, availed to us by the Pakistani government at no cost. A second distribution also took place on the 30th of August in Azakehl, Nowshera and was attended by the South African Deputy High Commissioner and the City of Johannesburg Search and Rescue team. The Al Imdaad Team was able to identify people who had not received any aid and distribute much needed emergency aid to them. The distribution pack included tents, food, cooking utensils, clothing and fresh water. Upon their return our team has been able to identify many target areas of concern. Whilst there is a constant need for emergency supplies, the most important need at the moment is the initiation of reconstruction and development. The devastating floods have caused widespread infrastructural damage and millions of people are now displaced. With the winter months approaching, many people find themselves without shelter and this has been flagged as a cause for concern. The Al Imdaad Foundation has already provided shelter for the people in the form of tents but their focus has now shifted to the building of semi permanent homes. Negotiations with suppliers have already been initiated and third team will soon be dispatched in order to finalise the building of these semi permanent homes. The Foundation is also looking into the possibility of sending a team of doctors as it has been identified that although there is an abundance of medical supplies, there is a shortage of medical personnel to administer these medicines to the people. The massive floods that began to hit Pakistan in late July have afflicted the country extremely. Seventy-nine of the country’s 124 districts have been affected. Official estimates say 1,600 people have been killed, over 2000 have been injured and more than 17 million are affected by the catastrophe. The disaster has not only led to losses in terms of human casualties and large scale displacement but has also damaged the agricultural country’s major crops over an estimated area of more than 1.38 million acres which constitutes 30 per cent of Pakistan’s agricultural land. For a country whose people and economy are heavily dependent on agriculture these floods are going to have serious implications not only in the short term, but for a long, long time to come.
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