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.
Oxfam is calling for more investment to go into preparing people for floods and other disasters in Pakistan as it marks its 40th year of working in the country this week.
Since 2010, floods have ravaged the country and areas such as Sindh and Punjab have been continually hit, meaning that the same vulnerable people are affected time and time again with the urgent need of food, clean water and shelter.
Country Director of Oxfam in Pakistan, Arif Jabbar Khan said:
"In the past forty years, through our programs and working with others we have helped turn around people's lives. When the floods hit in 2010, good preparation ensured that over 200,000 people were evacuated to safety with rescue boats. These kinds of measures saved lives and more money needs to be invested in this type of early warning and preparation."
Over the last four decades, Oxfam has helped pull millions of people out of poverty in the country. It has provided aid to about a million people after the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake. They also support people to find ways to make a living and ensure that they have access to food and education. Oxfam also supports women's groups so their voices are heard and helping girls' access education. Last year it helped over 2 million people.
Arif Jabbar Khan added: "Oxfam, with the help of its supporters, will continue assisting the Pakistani people to make good use of the available human and natural resources to improve people's lives, especially women, for the long-term. We also help strengthen local partners in the country so they can also carry out their important work. "
Read more on Oxfam's work in Pakistan
Notes to editors
- Irnia Werning Photograph project: To mark Oxfam's 40th anniversary of working to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in Pakistan, the NGO invited photographer Irina Werning to visit the country to take shots of staff and beneficiaries as part of her 'Back to the Future' project. Werning recreates photographs taken years earlier which show the passing of time but replicates all the details from wardrobe to backdrop, lighting and expressions captured in the original shot.
Irina said: "It was a big challenge - we had to go to remote villages to find the pictures, go back to a bazaar, find the right items like cloth and make the clothes, alter shoes and hats and things and then go back to the villages to get the shots."
"In Pakistan people are really happy to be photographed and have the pictures recreated because often they don't have many photos."
- Oxfam has assisted millions of Pakistani people in the past 40 years. Since 1973 we have supported people to make a living and ensure they have enough food to eat, raised awareness and helped people campaign on issues such as their right to education and working to end violence against women. We helped people prepare for natural disasters and provided aid in the aftermath including support to about a million people after the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake and more than 2.4 million after Pakistan's worst natural disaster - the 2010 floods.
For more information or to arrange an interview with Oxfam spokesperson, please contact:
Jonaid Jilani on 01865 472 193 or 07810 181 514 or firstname.lastname@example.org