News / Asia

Aid Agency Alarmed at Scale Of Pakistan Flooding

Pakistani flood victims, 12 Aug 2010
Pakistani flood victims, 12 Aug 2010

International aid agencies said Friday they are accelerating their response to the catastrophic emergency situation in Pakistan, but warned the scale of the devastation wrought by the flooding is staggering.

Latest figures estimate 14 million people are affected by the floods, more than 700,000 homes are damaged and destroyed and at least 1600 people have died from the flooding. And the scale of the disaster continues to worsen, said the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Jacques de Maio, who heads operations for South Asia for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the full magnitude, scope and nature of the catastrophe is not yet known.
Millions of people need food, clean water and medical care, he said, and they need it right now.

"There is indeed a very serious and shared risk assessed by the different humanitarian agencies working in Pakistan that there might be a second wave of deaths induced by the floods under the shape of water-borne diseases, diarrhea-related problems," he said. "And, this is something that needs to be addressed from the very onset of the humanitarian response."  

As much as 50 percent of the country has been inundated, causing widespread loss of crops.  In some areas, 80 percent of farm livestock reportedly has been lost. 

De Maio said millions of people have seen their livelihoods literally wash away.  Restoring them is critical to any early recovery plan. So far, he said the Pakistan Red Crescent and the ICRC has provided 100,000 victims with food, shelter, hygiene kits and other items during the first week of the floods.  The two organizations aim to increase the number of beneficiaries to around 350,000 in the coming days, said De Maio.

Given the enormity of the needs, he said it is clear millions of people will not get the assistance they need, adding that international efforts cannot keep pace with the scope of the emergency.  But, the ICRC will continue to do what it can.

"A total of 150 trucks have been hired and we are recruiting armies of donkeys to be able to reach the people who are so far not accessible.  This is with regard to food and non-food aid.  A very important, equally important aspect is about water and health," De Maio said. "The idea is to prevent disease, to boost local capacity to deal with epidemics."  

Water engineers are installing water purification systems and water treatment plants and that, said De Maio, will help prevent people from getting ill. 

But more mobile health clinics also are urgently needed to treat people in the field. Restoring family links is another very important task, he said. To that end, De Maio said the Pakistan Red Crescent and ICRC tracing services are working to reunite family members who have been separated by the flooding.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid