Emergency specialists on the ground within a week
More than 30 million people are currently affected by the devastating floods which have hit Pakistan in recent days.
UK charity ShelterBox is launching an emergency appeal to try to help people affected by the ‘climate catastrophe’ where more than 1000 people are confirmed to have died.
It’s sending an emergency response team to the worst hit areas following severe flooding which has left one third of the country underwater.
More than 33 million people have been affected after fierce monsoon rains deluged vast parts of the country with flash flooding sweeping away people’s homes.
‘The humanitarian need in Pakistan is on a scale not seen since the worst flooding in living memory in 2010 and the situation is sadly only going to get worse with millions of people displaced and left homeless,’ says Euan Crawshaw, ShelterBox’s Director of International Programmes.
‘The need for emergency shelter is staggering and growing and our team going to Pakistan will be assessing which communities are most in need, what we can do to help them rebuild, and how to get them the shelter support they need.’
‘This huge crisis is already affecting 33 million people across the country and this number will continue to rise significantly given further monsoon rains forecast this month and the gradual onset of flooding.’
Assessing emergency shelter needs
Waterways feeding the main Indus River, which runs through Pakistan, have burst their banks. The resulting flood has affected large areas of dry land and has left people in desperate need of water, food, medicine and shelter.
The death toll has topped 1,000 people and many thousands of people have been left with nowhere to live after their homes were damaged or destroyed.
Westcountry-based ShelterBox will have a specialist team on the ground this week. Their primary aim will be to assess the emergency shelter needs of those displaced by the flooding.
‘The flood waters are fast and lethal, and they do not discriminate. They are sweeping away anything in their path including people, homes, and livelihoods – and the monsoon rains are expected to return through September,’ says Haroon Altaf, ShelterBox’s Regional Director for Asia.
‘When there is so little dry land, and entire communities cut off, the logistics of getting shelter aid to the people in greatest need presents a complicated challenge.’
Pakistan has 160 districts and 116 of them have been affected by the flooding. Already remote areas are now inaccessible and communication lines have been damaged with 150 bridges destroyed.
The flooding is the worst Pakistan has endured since 2010. ShelterBox responded to the situation and helped thousands of families with shelter aid, delivered in its iconic green boxes, to help them start to rebuild their lives.
Since then, the charity that provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families across the world who have lost their homes to disaster and conflict has been continuously evolving to better meet the needs of displaced people.
Huge humanitarian effort
It no longer provides aid only in boxes, instead providing combinations of aid that are locally appropriate and packaged in a variety of ways to make a tangible difference.
‘With so much attention on other crises, resources are fewer,’ adds Haroon. ‘They may not be sufficient and that’s deeply concerning given that the floods will get worse in some parts of Pakistan over the next few weeks.’
‘It’s going to take time, money, a huge humanitarian effort, and international support to help people in Pakistan to fully recover which is why we’ll be assessing how ShelterBox can help those most severely affected.’
As well as sending a response team to Pakistan, ShelterBox has teams working to support communities in Ukraine, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Syria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.
Accompanying imagery shows the effects of the 2010 Pakistan floods and were supplied by ShelterBox:www.shelterbox.org