Update 10th September: Latest on SOS Children work in flood affected Pakistan
The latest report on the SOS Children response to flooding in Pakistan. From 10th September 2010
The programme has picked up pace and we have tried to get the maximum supplies out before commercial activity comes to a halt for the four day Eid holiday from 10 to 13 September.
More aid has arrived in the North West Frontier Province (Chassada and Mardan district). It is an area very close to the border of Afghanistan and the heartland of the Taliban. The distance from Lahore (where many food packages were put together, and there is an SOS Children's Village) to the North West Frontier Province is 400km and is quite challenging. Few NGO's are willing to go there, although the region was heavily affected by the floods.
Water levels are now back to normal but the people are in dire need of help and are faced with the loss of their homes and livelihood.
SOS Children’s Villages Pakistan is working with volunteers who distribute food and other aid supplies to the most vulnerable families.
Provision of Aid
We have now distributed 12,650 food packages for families affected by the flooding, this represents over 2 million meals. The target is still to provide 100,000 food packages.
Each of the packages contain wheat flour, lentils, rice, cooking oil, sugar, tea, milk powder, salt, chilli powder, washing soap, toilet soap, candles and matches. They cost just £13 each and will feed one family of 6-8 persons for ten days.
Other than food packages, we continue to distribute tents and medical items where we can.
After the first shipment of 500 tents went to Shahdadkot Sindh, another 500 have been sent to Balochistan through the Coast Guards and 500 to Dadu, Sindh. These had previously been allocated for Kalam, Swat but were re-allocated to Dadu in Sindh where the need was more urgent. This is the area which is now under threat.
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 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.
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A man collects a food package for his family
A child stands next to a damaged wall, with SOS staff in the background
A family at SOS Children's Village Lahore help put together food packages to be sent out to Northern Pakistan