25 June 2009
Michael Von Bergen (ICRC)As the estimated number of displaced people in Pakistan increases rapidly, the British Red Cross has made a £215,000 donation to help get food to those affected – but more money is urgently needed.
More than 2.5 million people have fled their homes in the north-west of the country, as a result of continued fighting. Many are now staying in neighbouring communities, which are becoming severely strained by the numbers of people in need.
These people need basic healthcare, food, water and shelter – and, as the monsoon season approaches, their situation may get even worse.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) remains the only international aid agency with access to the Swat Valley and Dir regions, where the fighting is intense. The ICRC and Pakistan Red Crescent delivered food to more than 40,000 people last week and still need up to £22 million more to meet the needs of the civilians affected.
Ros Armitage, British Red Cross operations manager for conflict, said: “Although the British Red Cross launched its Pakistan Crisis Appeal last week, the situation is sufficiently urgent that we are also releasing £200,000 from our Disaster Fund, plus £15,000 from a corporate donor, to help pay for food for around 7,500 families.”
An additional £10,000 from the corporate donor will be used to fund a nurse who will be seconded to the ICRC’s field hospital in Peshawar.
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