Tuesday 3 August 2010
For further information please contact
Penny Simms / Becky Webb
email: PSimms@redcross.org.uk / BWebb@redcross.org.uk
telephone: 020 7877 7044 / 7039 Out of office hours 07659 145095
- Massive scale up needed to address logistical challenges
- Critical issues include shelter and sanitation as further rains are expected
Heavy monsoon rains forecast for the worst affected regions of Pakistan over the next few days are threatening to exacerbate an already serious situation, says the British Red Cross. With vital bridges, roads and communications links destroyed, and with many people trapped on higher ground, the challenges are immense.
David Peppiatt, British Red Cross head of international, said:
“The response to these floods will require a huge scaling-up to deal with the number of people affected by this disaster, and to overcome the logistical challenges it presents. We will use whatever is needed to reach people who have been cut off for many days now and will be desperate for relief items.”
Led by the Pakistan Red Crescent (PRCS) the Red Cross is already reaching thousands of people with emergency aid including tents, tarpaulin sheets, food and kerosene stoves and an emergency medical camp has been set up provide immediate medical assistance to almost 3,100 affected families.
But with monsoon rains predicted the Red Cross is now planning to rapidly scale up its response:
“The next week is critical. With further heavy rains there is a real danger that the flooding will spread further south into Sindh province,” explains Mr Ateeb Siddiqui, Director of Operations with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.
“As well as increasing distributions of food and shelter materials, the Red Crescent is working to reduce the public health risks posed by the flooding. Thousands of people are living in miserable conditions. Providing clean water and sanitation is an absolute priority if we are to avert a public health disaster,” adds Mr Siddiqui.
The British Red Cross has been working in Pakistan for over ten years supporting health clinics in one of the affected regions, Balochistan and have vast experience of emergency response in the country, most recently with the 2005 and 2008 earthquakes.
The British Red Cross has released £50,000 from their Disaster Fund to provide immediate relief.
To donate to the British Red Cross Pakistan Flood Appeal go to: www.redcross.org.uk/pakistanfloods or call 0845 054 7206.
Cheque donations, made payable to British Red Cross Pakistan Floods Appeal, can be sent to: British Red Cross, FREEPOST NAT21787, Paisley, PA1 1BR
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.