August 27, 2010
Today the United Church of Christ issued a special disaster appeal seeking $300,000 to support the emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation initiatives of Church World Service in Pakistan.
Torential rains and flooding that have affected Pakistan in recent weeks continue, with at an estimated 1,600 dead and 17.2 million affected. Some 1.5 million people are now homeless.
The floods which began in the northern parts of country have spread to four provinces covering over 132,000 square kilometers, or about 82,000 square miles. (Pakistan's total square miles: 340,132.)
As the rains continue, the waters are moving downstream like a rolling earthquake affecting Punjab and Sindh provinces further south. In Sindh, villages in the area of Dadu and Mehar Taluka have been flooded. Thus far, some 186 villages in Sindh have been affected in seven local municipalities, affecting 38,656 individuals, according to CWS staff in Pakistan.
The continued rains and flooding are creating difficulties in rescue and relief operations; bridges throughout the country have been washed away from flooding and landslides; poor weather has also grounded relief helicopters.
Delays in relief supplies reaching distribution points means that the affected communities must wait longer for the shelter, food and other items which are immediately required for their survival.
CWS is coordinating a response in a wide geographic area, though given the changing scope of the disaster, specific information on location of distributions of food and non-food assistance and recipients is frequently changing. This appeal provides the latest information available on the CWS response and may differ, due to the changing situation, from previous information provided.
- CWS in Pakistan is working in Swat, Kohistan, D.I. Khan, Shangla and Mansehra districts of Khyber Pakhtoonkwa Province; Sibbi district of Balochistan Province; and Khairpur district of Sindh Province.
- As well as implementing directly, CWS is partnering with Participatory Village Development Programme, Help in Need (HIN), VEER Development Foundation and Nations Capacity Building Programme (NCBP).
- Assistance includes food and non-food relief items, emergency shelter and basic health services.
- The core of the response remains providing direct assistance in the following allotments:
- Food and non-food items to 55,500 individuals / approximately 7,500 households
- Shelter kits to 17,500 individuals / 2,500 households
- Health care to 26,500 individuals / approximately 3,500 households
Total: 99,000 individuals / approximately 13,500 households
(This is an increase from the previous appeal, in which emergency assistance was being provided to 70,000 persons.)
Actions taken so far:
- As of August 6, CWS had distributed approximately 70 tons of food items to 500 households in Balochistan and Khyber Pakthoonkhwa. The procurement of an additional 630 tons of food items for 4,500 households in these provinces as well as in Sindh is currently underway for immediate distribution. 2,500 tents will also be dispatched to Balochistan and Khyber Pakthoonkhwa in the coming week.
- CWS is also providing emergency health assistance through its mobile health unit in Balakot, Mansehra district. The mobile health team has already treated hundreds of flood-affected patients in Punda Balla Village and Shah Ismailabad in Mansehra. Two additional mobile health units for Swat and Kohistan are being mobilized.
- In response to an urgent request from Tehsil Head Quarter Hospital of Balakot, CWS in Pakistan has donated emergency medicine and medical supplies to the hospital to provide basic health services to affected communities. Most of the donated medicines are re-hydration salts.
- Furthermore, CWS health units under the Afghan Refugee Program have been conducting educational activities and preventive measures against water-borne diseases which have increased significantly in the aftermath of the flood. Before the onset of the floods, CWS has been managing three basic health units in Mansehra and another three in Swat. These "BHUs" have been providing preventive and curative health services to around 100,000 individuals in the area. Although some of these BHUs had to close down during the flood emergency, all of them are fully operational again and continue to serve both regular patients as well as those affected by the flood.
- In addition to the assistance proposed under this appeal, CWS will distribute another 70 tons of food to 500-flood affected families in District Allai, through the assistance of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, within the next couple of days (budget for this is not included under this appeal).
- Also, through funding from the Canadian Food Grains Bank, CWS in Pakistan is currently procuring 420 tons of food items for distribution to 3,000 affected families in Naseerabad, Balochistan Province.
- Church World Service is working with other members of the ACT Pakistan Forum as part of a coordinated response.
- CWS food packages are being distributed directly to affected families at convenient food distribution points established in each community and consist of 44 lbs. each of wheat flour and rice, 4¼ lbs. each of beans and sugar, 10½ cups of cooking oil, 7 oz. of tea, and a box of iodized salt.
- CWS is assessing the particular nutrition needs and status of children under 5 years of age in beneficiary families to determine if supplemental food resources are required in later weeks.
- The shelter kits include winterized tents and the plastic sheets, 6 x 4 meters.
- Work of the mobile health units include patient examinations, providing essential drugs and pre-natal care.
- CWS-P/A in its relief efforts has ensured strict measures for transparency and quality and accountability standards through its Strengthening Humanitarian Assistance Program. Ten introductory workshops have been planned for humanitarian organizations on Sphere Standards and HAP in different cities of Pakistan to ensure quality and accountability in humanitarian response for the flood survivors of Pakistan.
You Can Help Now
1. Pray for the people of Pakistan, their leaders, and all emergency response workers.
2. Please help the people of Pakistan by sending gifts payable to your congregation marked for "Pakistan Flood Relief" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "Pakistan Flood Relief" to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Make a secure online donation to Pakistan Flood Relief.
Thank you for your compassion and support.