Aug. 1, 2011
One year after Pakistan suffered its worst flooding in modern history, international aid agency World Vision
is calling for relief efforts to be ramped up for at least another year as families struggle to return to their pre-flood standard of living.
Last year’s floods, which affected more than 20 million people and wiped out an area the size of the United Kingdom, were the fourth major emergency to hit Pakistan in almost as many years: from the Kashmir earthquake in 2005 to widespread flooding across South Asia in 2007 and the massive displacement after the outbreak of conflict, in 2009.
“Pakistan sits on the front line of disasters, and communities already living in extreme poverty are simply not being given time to recover from the last blow they were dealt,” said Alexander Davey, national director of World Vision in Pakistan.
Children face heightened vulnerability after any disaster, but particularly in Pakistan where serious issues such as malnutrition were already a cause for concern. The flooding washed away crops, destroyed 5.4 million acres of land and, as food prices rise, child malnutrition has increased to almost 25 percent in worst-hit areas like Sindh.
World Vision is responding to Sindh’s high malnutrition rates through community-based nutrition sessions and has set up more than 20 mobile clinics, which are often the only form of healthcare available.
In the past year World Vision has reached an estimated 1.5 million people with food distributions, clean drinking water, hygiene kits, blankets, shelter and by establishing women and child-friendly spaces across three provinces.
Yet, as monsoon rains and melting mountain snow cause river levels to rise, up to five million people could be at risk once again. Families are being asked to prepare for evacuation in case river banks, damaged by last year’s flood, do not hold.
“Pakistan’s cycle of disasters create a generational impact that is hard to break--with schools damaged or teachers lost, children drop out of education. What’s left of belongings often needs to be sold off and families become increasingly sick as they have less to eat but must work more. How can you afford to start rebuilding your home when there’s no money to put food in your child’s mouth?” Davey said.
World Vision is committed to the long-term rehabilitation of affected communities and is helping restore families’ livelihoods across Pakistan by running early recovery and development projects, distributing seeds and agricultural tools, and offering training and cash-for-work programs.
To contribute to ongoing relief efforts in Pakistan, visit www.worldvision.org
or call (888) 56-CHILD. About World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor
— regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.For more information on their efforts, visitWorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews