Christian Aid pushes ahead with Pakistan relief effort

By staff writers
6 Aug 2010

The relief and development agency Christian Aid is channelling money through its international network to provide food, shelter and medical assistance to some 50,000 people affected by floods that have killed at least 1,400 people in Pakistan.

"Pakistan is facing a humanitarian crisis," commented Robin Greenwood, head of the NGO's Asia and Middle East division.

He continued: "Thousands of people are still waiting to receive assistance. It is crucial to get humanitarian aid to the people and the places that need it most."

Heavy monsoon rains which caused the worst floods on record have destroyed communities across five provinces of the country, demolishing entire villages, roads and bridges, and ruining fields and crops.

More than two million people are affected and many have no way of getting food. As waters subside there are now fears of water borne disease outbreaks and the spread of diarrhoea.

Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development, through which it is dispersing funds.

The Alliance's Pakistan Forum, comprising Church World Service - Pakistan/Afghanistan, Norwegian Church Aid and the German agency Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe are assisting in areas identified with the most urgent needs.

Government departments and many humanitarian agencies are focusing their efforts on the Northern provinces but there is also a desperate need for aid in the south west province of Balochistan.

Church World Service has already distributed food and temporary shelter there, and in other affected provinces.

A mobile health unit in Mansehra in the north is providing emergency health assistance to hundreds of patients, as well as providing free medicine and health education on water bourne disease.

Elsewhere, mobile health units will cover areas such as Kohistan, Swat and Balakot, a town which was destroyed in the 2005 earthquake.

At present, the rains have abated, but further deluges are expected over the coming days.

Christian Aid has also launched an emergency appeal in the UK in response to the devastating floods in Pakistan. Donations can be made to Christian Aid's Emergencies fund online or by calling 08080 004 004 (quote A010682 when making your donation).

Christian Aid is also part of the Disaster Emergency Committee, DEC, which launched the 'DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal' yesterday, in a series of widely broadcast television and radio adverts.

The money raised will help fund the efforts in Pakistan of the DEC's Members - the leading UK aid agencies. They are: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Concern, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

Members of the public can support the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal by calling 0370 60 60 900 or going to www.dec.org.uk

[Ekk/3]

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