With winter on the doorstep, and close to 1 million people still living under tents and tarpaulins, the IFRC is nearly doubling its emergency appeal to meet the growing needs of the survivors of Pakistan’s devastating floods.
The IFRC is now appealing for 130,673,677 Swiss francs (133,873,000 US dollars or 97,968,800 euros) to provide continued emergency aid as well as longer-term recovery assistance to 910,000 people over the next two years. The immediate focus will be on a second round of food distributions to 350,000 people in Sindh and Punjab provinces, and also on providing 10,000 winterized shelters to people whose homes were washed away by flash flooding and landslides in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“People have been left with virtually nothing. They do not have adequate food or shelter and we cannot afford to let them go through a winter, cold and hungry,” says Nelson Castano, the IFRC’s flood operations coordinator. “We are still in the midst of a massive crisis and are having to stretch our resources further.”
The IFRC is particularly concerned about a lack of food. More than 3.7 million acres of arable farmland were damaged or destroyed by floods in Sindh and Punjab – Pakistan’s major cotton-, rice- and sugarcane-producing areas. In Sindh province, thousands of acres of cultivable land remain submerged under stagnant water, mud and silt, and an estimated 700,000 people are still living in tented camps.
“Whether they have returned to their home village, or are still sleeping in camps, people need help. In Pakistan, 13 per cent of the population is malnourished. If we do not look after these families, that figure is only going to increase,” says Castano.
Since relief operations began, teams from the IFRC, Pakistan Red Crescent Society and other Red Cross and Red Crescent partners have together delivered emergency aid to more than 2 million people across the country.