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.
Against the backdrop of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's visit to devastated areas of Pakistan, international aid agency Oxfam today says that the visit is welcome as the humanitarian community struggles to cope with limited funds and a rapidly escalating crisis.
Oxfam says that donors have shown a lack of leadership and have failed to respond with anything like the speed or on the scale warranted by a crisis of this magnitude, and hopes that Ban's visit will inspire serious and tangible commitments from the world's richest governments.
Neva Khan, Oxfam's country director in Pakistan said:
“The speed with which the situation is deteriorating is frightening. Huge swathes of the country remain underwater, and we are extremely concerned about the risk of diseases such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever. Communities desperately need clean water, latrines and hygiene supplies, but the resources currently available cover only a fraction of what is required. We hope that Ban Ki Moon's visit to Pakistan will inspire the world's wealthiest countries to respond more quickly to this grave humanitarian crisis.”
Almost 20 million people are now affected by the floods in Pakistan according to latest figures. The UN's appeal, launched this week, is just 33% funded.
Take action: Email European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to get the EU to donate more to Pakistan
Watch the video: Oxfam's Public Health Promoter Rabea Syed reports from Pakistan about difficulties faced by flood affected people
Notes to editors
- Oxfam and partners are mounting a response across four provinces in Pakistan – Khyber Pakhtoonkkhwa (formally NWFP), Sindh, Kashmir and Punjab. So far the agency has reached more than 100,000 people with clean water and helped local groups evacuate 80,000 stranded people.
- Affected communities need clean water and sanitation facilities, hygiene kits, jerry cans and buckets, and mobile health clinics. 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. Water, sanitation and hygiene needs are currently just 10% funded. The health sector is 7% funded.
- 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.
Mubashar Hasan in Pakistan on +923085557219 or email@example.com