August 9 2010

Floods in Pakistan and northern India

07/08/2010 - All children, co-workers and facilities of SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan and northern India are unaffected by the devastating floods in the region. SOS Children's Villages Pakistan has offered its assistance to the government with focus on temporary shelter for unaccompanied children.

SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan ready to take in unaccompanied children

Photo: Alexander Gabriel
Every SOS Children' Village in Pakistan could provide children with a safe shelter - Photo: Alexander Gabriel
According to Souriya Anwar, President of SOS Children's Villages Pakistan, SOS facilities are too far away from the disaster areas and resources are limited in order to provide emergency relief on a large scale. Nevertheless, SOS Children's Villages Pakistan has offered assistance to the government. Unaccompanied children and mothers with children could take refuge at any of the eight SOS Children's Villages in the country and would receive any help they need.

SOS Children's Villages has a strong history of providing emergency relief for disaster areas. E.g. in 2005, after the Kashmir earthquake, an emergency relief programme was launched, providing aid to children and families across the affected area; several orphaned children were admitted to SOS Children's Villages for the long-term. Another emergency programme was carried out for years for Afghan refugees, mainly women and girls, in Peshawar, Shamshatoo and Badaber (medical care, education, recreational activities for children).

Additionally to the eight SOS Children's Villages in the country (another four are under construction), SOS Children's Villages Pakistan operates numerous other social programmes and is already working helping orphans and vulnerable children in many of the affected areas. SOS staff is monitoring the developing situation carefully, and are ready to help children who have lost contact to their families.

No communication with SOS Children's Village in Leh-Ladakh

The Tibetan SOS Children's Village and school in Dharamsala are so far unaffected by the floods, although according to our staff the community has suffered a lot. Due to broken telephone lines we are not able to get into contact with the SOS Children's Village in Leh-Ladakh

The SOS facilities and families at Srinagar in the north of India are safe and sound. There is no threat of flood in Srinagar but the city has been completely shut down - schools, shops, offices etc. for many days due to curfew following serious political instability. The children are inside the village compound only. For routine items the village administration has its own alternative arrangement as venturing outside is difficult. The situation may improve soon as a lot of political parleys are on for normalcy to return.