Published: 19 August 2010
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today increased its emergency appeal for the floods in Pakistan – calling for 75,852,261 Swiss francs (73.6 million US dollars, 57.2 million euros) in donor support to meet the growing humanitarian needs. The IFRC appeal will help the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to reach over 900,000 people. This assistance includes emergency relief, tents and shelter kits, medical care, clean water and improved sanitation, as well as help to restore livelihoods in the coming months.
“The world cannot ignore the crisis in Pakistan,” said Bekele Geleta, IFRC Secretary General, who was recently in Pakistan. “This is one of the worst disasters I have ever witnessed. Millions of people need help, we must all work together to meet the huge challenges that lie before us.”
While the floods have claimed nearly 1,500 lives, and forced millions from their homes, huge areas of land in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh remain underwater. Fears of waterborne diseases are growing and Red Crescent mobile medical teams are playing a vital role in disease surveillance, tracking any spikes in communicable diseases such as malaria and cholera.
“We have to confront the acute health issues and prevention methods are vital,” says Pakistan Red Crescent Secretary General, Muhammad Ilyas Khan. “Even cholera doesn’t have to be fatal; the key is to spot it early and intervene rapidly.”
The Red Crescent’s 27 medical teams are working in the worst affected districts and have treated 44,000 people since the flooding first began. The Red Crescent has also reached more than 300,000 people with relief items that include food, tents and household items.
The IFRC’s response to the floods includes several Emergency Response Units (ERU) focused on relief, logistics, water and sanitation, and healthcare. Both the IFRC and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are supporting the Red Crescent relief operation. The Red Crescent has some 130,000 volunteers in Pakistan and their disaster response teams have been deployed to each affected district.