October 11 2005
SOS Children's Villages steps up aid for South Asia earthquake survivors
(11 October 2005 ) - "SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan will undertake everything possible to help the victims of this catastrophe. Our organization has been carrying out humanitarian work in Pakistan for almost three decades, which means we have the necessary expertise in the country to be able to help in a quick and efficient manner," said Richard Pichler, Secretary-General of SOS-Kinderdorf International, the umbrella organisation of all worldwide SOS Children's Villages.
As a first response, SOS Children's Villages is transporting and distributing relief care packages as well as blankets and tents for more than 1,000 people in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which was close to the earthquake's epicentre and has been completely destroyed. Each "relief care package" contains rations of dry food, milk and water to serve one family for two days. These were packaged by students from Islamabad who immediately volunteered for the job. In order to help SOS Children's Villages provide the aid as quickly as possible, the students even worked nightshifts.
"Goods can now be directly transported as a road to the affected area has been opened. We are now able to step up our emergency relief efforts considerably," said Souriya Anwar, President of SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan. A team of 20 SOS Children's Villages employees is currently coordinating the relief efforts directly in Muzaffarabad.
SOS Children's Villages will also be sending a team and emergency supplies to Bagh, another town close to the earthquake's epicentre and which has so far not been reached by authorities. In addition, emergency shelter will be provided in Islamabad for approximately 100 unaccompanied children and women, and collection points for the distribution of clothing will be established. A newly-built, yet fortunately still uninhabited, SOS Children's Village facility in Muzaffarabad was badly damaged by the earthquake. In the coming days, this facility will be inspected by an engineer to determine whether it can serve as a shelter for earthquake survivors. Other SOS Children's Villages facilities in the quake-hit regions have suffered only minimal damage. SOS Children's Villages is active in 132 countries and territories. 438 SOS Children's Villages and 346 SOS Youth Facilities provide more than 59,000 children and youths in need with a new home. More than 131,000 children/youths attend SOS Kindergartens, SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools and SOS Vocational Training Centres. Around 397,000 people benefit from the services provided by SOS Medical Centres, 115,000 people from services provided by SOS Social Centres. SOS Children's Villages also helps in situations of crisis and disaster through emergency relief programmes.
To organise interviews with the President and Vice-President of SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan, or for more information on the organisation's international work, please contact: Adriana Pontieri
International Press Officer, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +43 1 368 2457 2185