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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2010
12:46 PM

CONTACT: Action Against Hunger

James Phelan, Senior External Relations Officer
Action Against Hunger - USA
Direct: +1 (212) 967-7800 x108

Susannah Masur, Communications Officer, ACF-USA
Direct: 212-967-7800 x133

Emergency Unfolds as Flooding Devastates Northern Pakistan

With thousands dead and millions affected, Action Against Hunger’s teams are rushing to assess where needs are most critical

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - August 4 - With the most severe flooding on record in over 80 years, northern Pakistan is reeling from a natural disaster of significant scale and scope. As estimates of the dead and displaced rise steadily since the flooding began-and with more monsoon rains on the way-the global humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International is rushing to assess where best to deploy its emergency water and sanitation programs to help stem the outbreak of disease and water-borne illnesses.

Current estimates indicate that more than 1,500 lives have been lost to the floodwaters, hundreds of thousands remain stranded, and between two and three million people have been forced to flee their homes and are in need of emergency assistance. ACF's teams are rushing to assess where needs are most critical, but the scale of the crisis, the chaos of the displacement and dislocation, the impending monsoons, and the destruction of vital infrastructure make communication and coordination all the more difficult.

"The overwhelming concern, beyond rescuing survivors, is to keep diseases like cholera at bay by ensuring access to clean water and basic hygiene," explains Nick Radin, ACF's Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Advisor for Pakistan. "The needs are urgent, but unfortunately this disaster extends over a massive geographical area, which complicates relief efforts. It's a race against time to reach the thousands needing immediate help."

Action Against Hunger has implemented programs in Pakistan since working among the Afghan refugee camps in 1980. Our regional presence has expanded over the years, addressing food and water insecurity across its southern and western provinces, and our on-the-ground presence positioned us as a key provider of emergency assistance after the 2005 earthquake and the flooding in the Sindh and Balochistan in 2007.

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Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF), an international relief and development organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children and families, provides sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. For nearly three decades, ACF has pursued its vision of a world without hunger by combating hunger in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity.



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