Oxfam has launched an appeal to support its rapid relief effort to reach almost 400,000 people with clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies in flood-affected north-western Pakistan.
The international agency is trucking water and installing tanks to help prevent the spread of water-borne diseases amongst the estimated 1 million people affected.
Oxfam’s Pakistan Director Neva Khan said this was the worst flooding in living memory.
“It is likely to get worse as rivers and dams reach dangerous levels. Whole villages have been swept away and villages south of the devastated area in Sindh may be hit in the coming days,” Ms Khan said.
“Huge swathes of the country are under an ocean of contaminated water. The risk of water-borne disease is high if we do not act fast.
“We are going to be providing hundreds of thousands of people with clean water and building emergency toilets. We are moving fast with supplies we had ready for such an emergency in-country.”
Oxfam is appealing for $AU6.6 million ($US 6 million) to help people get through the immediate days and weeks and to boost recovery over the long term. The agency is also planning to provide hygiene kits to help people who have lost everything in the floods, as well cooked food and cash for work.
“Our staff and partners have years of experience providing relief in the most difficult emergencies and we are already there working round the clock to reach those cut off from help,” Ms Khan said.
Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett said Oxfam had been working in Pakistan since 1973.
“We support local partners and work with government authorities to improve the livelihoods of those living in poverty, and provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters and conflict,” he said. “Oxfam assisted over 740,000 people following the devastating earthquake in 2005, and in the aftermath of these floods, is now implementing a plan for immediate emergency aid work.”
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Contact in Pakistan:
Tariq Masood Malik, Media Communications Officer, +92-3085052976
Please note: Pakistan time is GMT+5
Contacts in Australia:
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Notes to the editor:
Photos from Pakistan are available on request. Oxfam staff members are available for interview on the ground in the affected area.