Friday 21 January 2010
For further information
Mark South: MSouth@redcross.org.uk, 0207 877 7042 or out of hours 07659 145095
Six months on, emergency continues for victims of Pakistan floods
Six months after the floods in Pakistan began, millions of people remain homeless and in need of emergency aid.
More than 4 million people are without adequate shelter and millions more in need of food and other aid, with flood waters still engulfing huge areas.
“It is a miserable situation and a disaster which is continuing to unfold,” said Sir Nick Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross.
“I visited Pakistan last week, and vast swathes of land are still flooded preventing people from returning home.
“Even when people can go back, conditions are desperate. Their houses, fields and livelihoods have been ruined.”
The floods destroyed 1.7 million homes - taking roofs from over the heads of a population larger than that of Greater London - damaged 5.4 million acres of farmland and left entire communities without a source of food or income.
More than 70,000 children are estimated to be severely or moderately malnourished across affected provinces, and villages in the south remain surrounded by contaminated water, creating breeding grounds for waterborne diseases.
In the north, families are living through sub-zero conditions in the remnants of their homes. Many roads remain blocked or damaged, leaving villagers with no option but to walk for miles to seek help.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has provided emergency relief, including food, shelter, clean water, cooking equipment and other items to more than 2.2 million people.
As part of that response, the British Red Cross has helped provide food to almost half a million people.
Its logistics teams have worked in two of the worst affected provinces - Punjab and Sindh - speeding the delivery of aid to those in need, and sanitation teams have set up toilets and washing facilities for 10,000 people.
“The achievements so far have been huge, but this disaster affected 20 million people and millions are still in need of emergency support. No single agency or organisation can solve this alone,” said John English, British Red Cross country representative Pakistan.
“People in Pakistan want to rebuild their livelihoods, but they need support to do it and this is where the British Red Cross will focus its efforts.
“The emergency is far from over, much more help will be needed for people to get back on their feet, but without that help, survivors will be forced further back into poverty, hunger and vulnerability.”
Give to the British Red Cross Pakistan Floods Appeal at www.redcross.org.uk/pakistanfloods or call 0845 054 7206
Red Cross spokespeople are available on the ground in Pakistan and in the UK
Still images are available and b-roll footage can be downloaded here:
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.