Saturday, October 23, 2010

FLOODS: Pakistan: returning home to rebuild lives before onset of winter

International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent - English site of Peshawar area / Pakistan

Photo below is from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) - A photo of one distribution stop.

Key facts (from the BBC):

*Heavy monsoon rains in north west Pakistan have caused rivers to burst their banks

*At least 1,600 people are believed to have been killed and entire villages have been swept away

*Some 20 million people have been affected and 6 million are in urgent need of food aid, according to the UN*Around $460m is required for immediate needs, around $275m has been donated so far

(These above stats of course vary from source to source. See the BBC URL end of this post)

Islamabad/Peshawar (ICRC) – As floodwaters recede in the north of the country, the first thought of those displaced is to return to their homes and resume their lives. Whether because of fighting or floods, millions of Pakistanis have made this return journey in the last two years.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society continue to support them in their efforts to overcome adversity and rebuild their lives."It takes real courage to return to devastated homes and fields and start the rebuilding process. As winter approaches in the north-west of Pakistan, this is also a race against the clock," said Peter Schamberger, who coordinates the ICRC's economic-security activities in Pakistan.

"In order to restore livelihoods in the shortest possible time, returnees are anxious to plant the annual cereal crop before the mid-November planting deadline, and prepare for winter. As seed, fertilizer and farm tools were lost during the flooding, this task had become almost impossible in many parts of the country."
From the news release # 10/188

Also READ specifics on the Pakistan site here


Pakistan: Summary of MSF's Flood Response October 20, 2010Pakistan 2010

Since the beginning of the floods, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has:

* Conducted 56,991 consultations through 5 hospitals, 7 mobile clinics and 6 Diarrhea Treatment Centers* Treated more than 3,634 malnourished children

* Distributed 1,250,400 liters of clean water per day and built 714 latrines* Distributed a total of 58,270 relief item kits and 14,538 tents

MSF has 125 international staff are working alongside nearly 1,200 Pakistani staff in MSF’s existing and flood response programs in Pakistan. Expenditures for the emergency response to the floods have reached approximately € 7 million ($9.7 million).

MSF’s 2010 budget for its normal operations in Pakistan is approximately € 10.9 million ($15.2 million).Ten weeks after the first floods hit Pakistan, the flood waters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces have largely receded and people have begun to return to what remains of their homes.

In Sindh and Balochistan provinces, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams continue to assist displaced people with not only immediate needs such as health care and clean water but also transitional shelters until their situation is stabilized.

Medical Activities:

Medical teams continue to run mobile clinic activities across Sindh province.

In southern Sindh, in the districts of Jamshoro, Dadu, Johi, and Sehwan, the number of cases of Diarrhea and skin diseases (which were the main causes of morbidity at the beginning of the floods) have decreased significantly. However, the teams have been seeing an increase in the number of patients suffering from "general body pain" and fatigue (about 45 percent of the consultations). These symptoms are likely the result of the excessive stress that came with losing homes, poor access to food and safe water, and generally unhygienic living conditions in camps and shelters.

Therefore, the team has started mental health activities, individual and group counseling, for almost 600 patients.

In the district of Johi, more than 1,000 medical consultations have been conducted since the team started mobile clinic activities two weeks ago.MSF medical teams also continue nutrition screening—using the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) test—and malnutrition treatment in both Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

In Dera Murad Jamali, where the team is running five ambulatory therapeutic feeding centers (ATFCs), the number of children enrolled in the program increased significantly following the floods, due to either food insecurity or the addition of displaced people to the local population.

A surgical team at work in Balochistan. Constant population movements in the aftermath of the floods make it more challenging for the ambulatory feeding program team to ensure that children admitted to the program complete treatment.

So far, in Dera Murad Jamali, the team has treated 2,098 malnourished or severely malnourished children through both ATFCs and Intensive Therapy Feeding Centers (ITFCs).

In Sukkur, in addition to treating at least 150 severely malnourished children in the ITFC, the team has started ATFC to cover more malnourished children in and around Sukkur...

READ MORE from Doctors Without Borders here

InshAllah - I do want to feature more here from local groups' courageous and effective humanitarian work in the near future.

Last Updated 19 October 2010 - See more from BBC here

No comments: