Pakistan Floods, Six Months Later

For Immediate Release

Handicap International
Contact: 

Lea Radick, Communications Officer,
Phone: +1 (301) 891-3002,
E-mail: lradick@handicap-international.us

Pakistan Floods, Six Months Later

WASHINGTON - For
the last six months, Handicap International’s 500-strong team has
supported people stricken by the flooding that has devastated Pakistan,
affecting 20 million people and damaging 1.7 million homes. The
organization is implementing a large-scale program focused on improving
access to drinking water and sanitation, and distributing emergency aid
to meet the basic needs of the victims, who have largely been forgotten.

Six
months after the floods began, the situation remains very serious; 20
million people have been affected. Currently, 170,000 people are still
living in camps in addition to those people who, having returned to
their villages, continue to live in makeshift shelters, such as tents
pitched on the roadside. The Pakistani population remains severely
affected by the flooding, facing serious shortages of food and supplies,
limited access to medical care and an economy in need of rebuilding.

The
needs remain considerable; according to the Pakistani government, more
than 269,345 acres (109,000 hectares) of land remain underwater in
Sindh, the worst affected province. The population is still subject to
precarious living conditions, made worse by the cold winter weather.
Seven million flood victims remain in need of water, sanitation and
hygiene services1]. “It is crucial that Handicap International continues to take action in Pakistan,” explained Stéphane
Lobjois, Head of Mission in Pakistan. “The emergency is still not
behind us, even though this crisis is not making headlines. That’s why
we are committed, more than ever, to supporting the Pakistani people.”

Since
August 2, 2010, Handicap International has provided support to more
than 250,000 flood victims in Pakistan. Our team of 500 people,
including 20 expatriates, has developed a multidisciplinary response to
the crisis, focused on improving the living conditions of flood victims
in the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both of which remain
severely affected. To improve access to drinking water, sanitation and
hygiene, Handicap International has installed seven water treatment
units, capable of producing drinking water for 150,000 people at 5
liters of water per person per day and installed more than 150 water
distribution points and pumps. 

To
improve sanitation, a clearance project has been set up in the
districts of Hangu, Swat and Kohat (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) and
Thatta (Sindh province), in which the local population take part in
clearing rubbish and debris, including stagnant water left behind by 
the floods. Such clearance allows the return of the population and
limits the spread of disease. More than 200 temporary latrines have also
been constructed in Sindh, in a workshop where more than 40 percent of
the workers are people with disabilities.

To
improve hygiene, we have distributed 19,000 emergency and hygiene kits.
These kits allow families to treat and store water, to wash and to
cook. To date, 37,000 people have benefited from awareness- raising
sessions on the importance of good hygiene in avoiding disease.

We
have set up two “Disability Focal Points” and staffed 13 mobile teams
to support disabled and vulnerable people in their communities. More
than 700 people have also benefitted from psychosocial support
activities. Finally, Handicap International has constructed or repaired
250 homes.

Handicap
International, present in Pakistan since 2005, launched an emergency
mission in response to the floods on August 1, 2010, working in close
coordination with other agencies present and ready to act, using $131,800
of our own internal emergency fund to ensure that we could begin to
respond immediately. To be able to continue to extend help to the most
vulnerable people, Handicap International is relying on the support of
everyone.

You
can support Handicap International's emergency response in Pakistan by
visiting us online, calling our office or by sending a donation in the
mail:

Online: www.handicap-international.us
By phone: + 1 (301) 891-2138
By mail:
Handicap International/Pakistan Emergency
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 240
Takoma Park, MD 20912

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Handicap International is an independent and impartial international aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

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