The floods that have engulfed Pakistan over the last week are a mega disaster and the world needs to mount a mega response to ensure the millions affected get the help they need, international aid agency Oxfam said today as it called for a “gear shift” in the response to the crisis.
Mobile water tanks, first aid, boats and local volunteers have been put on high alert by Oxfam as the worst floods in living memory surge south.
Local people are working around the clock to rescue families cut off by rising flood waters. Using wooden fishing boats, a navy of local fishermen known as "Malah" and volunteers are working with local groups, Oxfam, and the Pakistani authorities to evacuate more than 50,000 people.
Less than a week into the crisis, Oxfam is delivering clean water to almost 100,000 people made homeless by catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.
People in the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan hit by the catastrophic floods were only just recovering from the conflict that forced them from their homes last year, said Neva Khan, Oxfam’s Country Director in Pakistan.
Over 2010 and 2011 Pakistan was hit by its worst natural disaster – an estimated 18 million people have been affected by the floods. Oxfam has now reached 2.4 million people with humanitarian aid, including clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, tents and cash-for-work programs.
Oxfam launches a rapid relief effort to reach almost 400,000 people with clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies. We're trucking water and installing tanks to help prevent the spread of water-borne diseases amongst the estimated 1 million people affected.
More than 1.3 million people are displaced, dependant on emergency relief to survive. But dwindling contributions from the international community are forcing humanitarian organizations to close programs.