Wednesday 27 July
For further information
Rebecca Lefort, RLefort@redcross.org.uk, 020 7877 7548
• Price of bricks quadrupled after floods, hampering rebuilding
• Survivors still bear psychological scars from 2010 monsoon floods
One year after the devastating floods of 2010, concerns are growing for millions of people in Pakistan who continue to live in makeshift shelters, leaving them vulnerable and exposed to the threat of further flooding during the monsoon season.
“It will not take a lot of rain this year to put them in a very precarious situation,” warned Nilofar Bakhtiar, chair of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
“In the 12 months since unprecedented monsoon floods swept through Pakistan, the cost of bricks quadrupled, making it impossible for flood survivors to effectively rebuild their homes.”
Families have instead scraped together what materials they could salvage, piecing together rudimentary shelters that offer little protection against the harsh Pakistan climate.
Many are still afraid of the sound of running water and fear the devastation another round of flooding could bring.
Ea Suzanna Akasha, a psychosocial delegate from the Danish Red Cross, added: “People are still afraid of the sound of running water. Some had so little time to flee that they are having panic attacks. They have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep. Some now fear the next flood is going to come and they don’t know how they are going to cope.”
In an effort to prevent another catastrophe the PRCS and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have been working to build communities’ abilities to respond to disasters.
Staff have trained volunteers in disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction at a specialist camp, practising their skills in mock disasters. Thousands of volunteers across Pakistan have also been trained in disaster response, basic health, and water and sanitation.
As well as training volunteers the IFRC has provided cash grants to 11,500 families to help them rebuild their homes so they are better constructed and more able to withstand future disasters.
And to support those traumatised by last year’s floods psychosocial support is being provided to 85,000 adults and children.
Activities include talking with adults, tailoring lessons, singing, dancing, drawing and playing sports with the children.
The British Red Cross can provide B-roll footage or photographs of the Disaster Risk Reduction or Psychosocial Programmes in action in Pakistan.
We can also arrange interviews with Red Cross delegates in Pakistan.
For more information please contact Rebecca Lefort on 020 7877 7548, or RLefort@redcross.org.uk.
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/britishredcross
Notes to editors
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.
Food company Surya will be raising money for the work of the Red Cross in Pakistan with a promotion on packs of Laila Basmati rice. Twenty pence from every pack sold during the month of August will go to the Red Cross.
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.