Donate to Disaster Relief--Pakistan
This designated account supplements the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering to enable a significant response for relief and disasters in Pakistan. Your faithful giving is deeply appreciated.
Situation Report Update
September 24, 2010
Presbyterians have responded generously to needs in Pakistan over the past few weeks — thank you.
Your funds are already at work helping to meet the needs of people struggling to recover from the floods. In cooperation with our ecumenical partners, at least 91,200 people displaced by flooding have received food, more than 100,000 people are receiving emergency and preventative care, and shelter kits (tents, blankets, plastic sheets, cooking utensils, jerry cans, oil lamps and oil) are being provided to some of the thousands of displaced families. However, there remains much to be done.
Revised estimates suggest that floods have now affected more than 21 million people, including about 3 million children, making this one of the most serious humanitarian disasters in a generation. While the number of deaths is relatively small compared to large disasters like the Haiti earthquake and tsunami, in terms of the numbers of people affected and the ongoing impact, the scale of these floods is unprecedented, and the larger challenges are ahead.
As floodwaters have receded in the northern parts of the country, towns and villages in the southern provinces are still submerged. New towns and villages were inundated in Sindh's Dadu and Jamshoro districts the weekend of September 19 as Manchar Lake overflowed and displaced approximately 100,000 people.
A growing concern is the approaching winter season, particularly in the northern areas. Nearly 1.8 million homes have been destroyed or seriously damaged, and predictions are that about seven million people will be homeless for some time.
Dr. Qamar Zaman, medical coordinator for our ecumenical partner Church World Service Pakistan-Afghanistan (CWS-P/A), worries that people will be unable to cope with disease brought on by the cold. “Snow begins as early as October in parts of the north. Winter is approaching, and with freezing temperatures there are a greater number of cases of lower respiratory tract infection,” he said.
At the height of the flood, CWS-P/A health teams reported that acute respiratory infections were the second most common ailment after diarrhea. CWS-P/A expects poor nutrition and food shortages to put more people, especially children and the elderly, at risk of death during winter.
Ongoing Presbyterian response
PDA continues working with our ecumenical partners and fellow members of the ACT Alliance in the distributions of food and other relief. The amount of the appeal has been significantly increased to meet the growing needs of the affected population.
Health is a priority, with efforts to provide preventive and curative care. There has been widespread damage and destruction of government health facilities and increasing reliance on UN and nongovernmental health providers. For this reason, non-governmental organizations are supporting static basic health units through infrastructure repairs, medical equipment, and qualified staff and ensuring that essential medicines are provided at the clinic sites.
Presbyterians, through our related ACT member mobile health units, are providing free consultations, essential medicines and maternal and child health services to flood affected populations. At present approximately 80 percent of patients are women and young children, and a significant emphasis is now being placed on health education to prevent the transmission of water borne disease.
Another priority area is WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). The ‘de-watering’ of floodplains and removal of dead animal carcasses are urgent needs, as this may contribute to the likelihood of disease outbreaks This is also important given that affected communities continue to reside in temporary settlements with accumulated waste, and without access to permanent water and sanitation facilities.
Presbyterian support is providing immediate access to clean drinking water, sanitary facilities and emergency medical services, with special focus on needs of women, girls and elderly people. This includes the provision of hygiene kits, jerry cans, buckets, aqua tabs, water disinfectants, mobile water treatment units, etc. With the increased risk of water-borne diseases, hygiene awareness training and public health messaging is also being provided.
In addition to continued basic humanitarian assistance of food, water, medical assistance and shelter, there are plans to provide programs to help people get back into employment.
Three early recovery construction trades training centers, similar to the initiative developed for recovery from the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, will help communities with reconstruction needs.
Efforts are underway to initiate cash-for-work and vouchers for the provision of seeds, tools and fertilizer, and the provision of livestock and training in livestock care and breeding to help reestablish agricultural livelihoods. Without resources, farmers and shopkeepers will also face the prospect of a longer period in which food is difficult or even impossible to obtain.
How you can help
You can stand in the gap for disaster survivors and help the church in this response.
GIVE. The generous sharing of your financial blessings through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and special designated giving provides resources needed to meet basic humanitarian needs of families affected by this disaster.
Individuals may give through their local Presbyterian congregation, on the secure PC(USA) Web site, or by sending their check to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
Please include the special designated giving account DR000038 – Pakistan.
Congregations should send donations through their normal mission giving channels.
ACT. Stay informed and share information about the need with others. Sign up to receive PDA Rapid Information Network (PDA-RIN) email notices to alert you of additional needs.
PRAY. Please continue in prayer all those affected by this flooding and for those who are offering assistance. Pray for the displaced families to know they are not forgotten.