A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Flood-affected areas now constitute the world's largest freshwater lake, says Oxfam
Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, today visited Pakistan to see the effect of the devastating floods on the country. More than 17 million people are now affected by the floods, with nearly 1600 people killed and millions made homeless.
Neva Khan, Oxfam's Country Director in Pakistan, said:
"We welcome the Commissioner's visit and hope she will return to Brussels with a renewed sense of urgency about what is needed here in Pakistan.
"This is rapidly becoming the world's largest freshwater lake – swallowing up the equivalent of an area the size of Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. And it keeps spreading. The EU has been generous to this point of the crisis but the flood waters keep rising – engulfing more land and displacing more people. Each day there is more human need, higher risk of disease – and a patently obvious case for faster and significantly greater volume of aid.
"The original emergency relief plan for Pakistan was based on the needs of six million people in direct need of assistance. There are now up to ten million people who urgently need our help. The UN is now planning to revise the emergency appeal – which will require the European donors to increase their share of the contributions to meet the emergency and the longer term needs of the Pakistani people.
"The EU Foreign Ministers are due to meet in Brussels on 10 September where the plight of Pakistan will be high on their agenda. We hope the EU will continue to show leadership in delivering real and sustained support to the Pakistani people – now and in the future."
How large is the flood-affected area? See the maps on this Blog: World Humanitarian Day: A time to help Pakistan
Pakistan floods: The situation and Oxfam's emergency response
Notes to editors
- The European Commission has provided €70 million of humanitarian funding while EU Member States have so far committed a further €130 million.
- 17.2 million people have been affected by the floods with up to ten million estimated to be in need of direct assistance.
- Oxfam and partners are mounting a response across in four provinces Pakistan – Khyber Pakhtoonkkhwa (formally NWFP), Sindh, Kashmir and Punjab.
- So far, the agency has reached more than 375,000 people with clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies, as well as food and NFIs. The organization is planning to scale up its response to reach 1.1 million people.
- Agencies such as Oxfam are doing their best to scale up their operations to respond to the needs, but the resources currently available cover only a fraction of what is required.
- Oxfam has 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.
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