Published: 13 August 2010
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is deeply concerned about the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by the floods in Pakistan. As the scale of the disaster continues to worsen, the gap between needs on the ground and available resources is widening. With 14 million people affected, 720,000 homes damaged or destroyed and no end to the persistent monsoon rains, millions of people will be reliant on food aid and emergency relief in the coming months.
Senator Nilofer Bakhtiar, Chairperson of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, who has recently returned from visiting the flood-affected areas said: “The time to act is now – this is a disaster of unimaginable proportions. We are scaling up our response significantly together with Red Cross and Red Crescent partners from around the world.”
Supported by IFRC and the ICRC, the Red Crescent is aiming to support more than 2 million people with emergency relief, shelter, medical care and improved access to clean water and sanitation over the coming months, across all flood-affected provinces.
“The needs on the ground require a massive response that includes the government and local and international organizations. It’s not just about saving people’s lives today, we need to plan for their long-term recovery tomorrow. To achieve this, we urgently need donors to step forward to support us,” says Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the IFRC, during his current visit to Pakistan.
“We are committed to supporting the Pakistan Red Crescent as they assist the victims of the current crisis and are increasing our support in the areas where we are already operational as a result of the armed violence in the country,” says Pascal Cuttat, Head of Delegation with the ICRC in Pakistan.
The Red Crescent has already reached more than 250,000 people with emergency relief and shelter, and has provided medical support to over 30,000 individuals, but the damage to Pakistan’s infrastructure and continued flooding in the south of the country is making access to many communities extremely challenging.