Christian Aid remembers second anniversary of South Asia quake with Christian Aid gifts

By staff writers
October 24, 2007

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While the global news agenda has moved on, UK-based development agency Christian Aid is asking people not to forget the ongoing victims of the tragic South Asia earthquake two years ago - and has pledged to continue its material support.

On the second anniversary of the south Asia quake, Christian Aid stressed that it continues to help those in need, working with secular and Muslim groups as well as Christian ones.

So far the agency has allocated £5 million towards rebuilding and rehabilitation with most of the money going to the hardest hit areas of Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir.

The money has funded seven of its partners in Pakistan and India, including Islamic Relief and Church World Service (CWS), who will continue to carry out work until October 2008.

More than 80,000 were killed in the earthquake on 8 October 2005, while 79,000 were seriously injured and 3.3 million made homeless.

Rebuilding more than 400,000 houses in mountainous areas of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir continues to be a huge task.

Brian Martin, Christian Aid’s earthquake response manager, said: "Experience has shown that reconstruction from similar disasters takes a number of years to complete – the south Asia earthquake is no exception."

He continued: "Currently, one of our immediate aims is to ensure that those still living in temporary shelters have adequate protection to meet the approaching third winter."

Challenges include the harsh and rugged Himalayan environment, a lack of skilled workers and aftershocks which have caused further destruction and landslides coupled with heavy rains.

Christian Aid’s latest building project is in the remote tribal area of Kala Daka in NWFP, where £205,000 has gone to CWS to build houses for 1,520 people. The selected families will be given materials to build earthquake resistant housing with help from the community and overseen by experienced civil engineers.

With Islamic Relief, Christian Aid is currently funding a cash-for-work programme. The poorest beneficiaries receive money from Islamic Relief to clear rubble for reconstruction and renovate damaged roads to their villages while earning an income to support their families.

Most of the work in Indian-administered Kashmir, where 1,500 people were killed and 3,000 left homeless, has finished, but Christian Aid continues to fund a project in the area which provides young men and women training in different skills such as the use of computers.

The funding for this relief and rehabilitation work in Pakistan and Indian-administrated Kashmir has been generously donated by the public to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal (DEC), to Christian Aid’s own Three Continents Appeal (launched shortly after the disaster) and from the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID).

You can also buy Christian Aid gifts and support present aid online.

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