October 1 2010

No sign of relenting in Pakistan floods crisis

30/09/2010 - The flood waters have now reached extensive areas of land in the southern province of Sindh in Pakistan. And thousands more people have been forced to leave their homes. In recent weeks SOS Children's Villages Pakistan has distributed around 20,000 relief packages containing food and personal hygiene items, as well as medication and tents.

Photo: Benno Neeleman
An estimated 20 million people have been affected by the flooding - Photo: Benno Neeleman

The disaster, which has been called a "slow-motion tsunami" by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will have shown its full effect only when the flood waters reach the sea in the coming days.

SOS Children's Villages has been involved in the relief efforts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the Punjab and Balochistan since August. SOS Children's Villages Pakistan is now organising food parcels and deliveries of medication for people who've fallen victim to the flooding in Sindh because "it is still a case of saving lives," says Souriya Anwar, the President of SOS Children's Villages Pakistan.

Photo: SOS Archives
The health risks are increasing - particularly for children - as a result of the poor hygiene conditions in the flooded areas. (SOS Children's Villages delivers medication in Lahore) - Photo: SOS Archives

As in other regions, SOS Children's Villages is working with partner organisations which are taking over and actually distributing the relief supplies. In the south that is the NGOs Aitemaad Pakistan, Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), and Art of Living.

Around 20,000 food parcels have already been distributed to thousands of families in the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Swat and Sindh. That adds up to more than three million meals.

Photo: Benno Neeleman
SOS Children's Villages provided 77 tents for this camp - Photo: Benno Neeleman
Enough medication to care for around 60,000 people was also provided in cooperation with other aid organisations and the Pakistan army. SOS Children's Villages Pakistan has also provided 1,500 tents for homeless families.