August 27 2010
SOS Children's Villages Pakistan sends food, tents to flood-affected areas
27/08/2010 - As the level of destruction caused by floods in Pakistan become ever more evident, SOS Children's Villages is dispatching basic food supplies to children and families in the ravaged areas. At the same time, SOS Children's Villages is sending tents to the south of the country, where the threat level remains high.
Thousands of tonnes of food supplies have been washed away - REUTERS/Adrees Latif - courtesy www.alertnet.org
Food supplies scarce
The floods have damaged at least 3.2 million hectares, about 14 percent of the entire cultivated land. Up to 75,000 tonnes of stored grains have been washed away. SOS Children's Villages has sent two trucks containing 500 food packages in total (some 80,000 meals) to heavily affected areas in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and south Punjab, respectively. A furhter truckload of food containing 500 packages was sent to Madyan in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Each of the packages, containing wheat flour, lentils, rice, cooking oil, sugar, tea, milk powder, salt, chilli powder, washing soaps, toilet soaps, candles and matches, and costing just 20 USD each, will feed one family of 6-8 persons for ten days. Another 1,000 packages have already been ordered. Our target is to finance up to 100,000 packages.
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Uncounted millions have lost their homes - REUTERS/Adrees Latif - courtesy www.alertnet.org
More than 6 million displaced
Floodwaters are beginning to recede across most of the country,but they still pose a threat to towns in Sindh province, in the south of Pakistan. According to the UN, nearly one million people have fled their homes in the last 48 hours. SOS Children's Villages has sent 500 tents to children and their families at Shadadkot on the Balochistan/ Sindh border.
Previously, the floods had already forced about six million people from their homes. Many people from outlying areas who had taken refuge in towns of Sindh Province have now had to move again. SOS Children's Villages has already placed an order for a further 1,000 tents.
The floods have receded - but the diseases are spreading - Reuters/Fayaz Aziz, courtesy www.alertnet.org
3.5 million children at risk of disease
In those areas where the floodwaters have gone back, diseases are now the most imminent threat, and SOS Children's Villages is already working to ensure that children in those areas are provided with medical supplies as soon as possible. According to the UN, 3.5 million children are at risk of deadly water-borne diseases due to malnutrition, dirty drinking water and outbreaks of mosquitos.
The floods, triggered by unusually heavy monsoon downpours over the upper Indus basin a month ago, are Pakistan's worst ever natural disaster. Even before the floods, Pakistan's economy was fragile, and economic growth, forecast at 4.5 percent this fiscal year, is now predicted at anything between zero to 3 percent.
The official death toll from the floods, now at about 1,600, is expected to rise significantly as more bodies are found every day and many people are still missing.