For Immediate Release
Floods in Pakistan: Handicap International Intensifies Its Emergency Relief Efforts
WASHINGTON - Handicap
International has been providing relief to the victims of the flooding
in Pakistan for almost a week. The water
and clearance activities set up by the organization immediately after
of the floods are continuing. The distribution of hygiene kits is also
gradually being expanded. According to the United Nations, almost 14
people are expected to be affected by the flooding, the worst the
country has seen
The situation in
seriously deteriorated over the last week, with heavy
rainfall worsening the flooding in the northwest and south of the
Pakistani government has recognized that it is facing a natural disaster
far greater scale than the 2005 earthquake. The U.N. Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates the number of
around 14 million in the provinces of Baluchistan, Khyber Paktunkhwa,
Punjab. Thus far, the disaster has claimed more than 1,500 lives and
more than 290,000 homes.
"During a natural disaster like the one currently affecting Pakistan,
you're faced with an ongoing emergency," explained Stéphane
Lobjois, head of mission for Handicap International in Pakistan. "For
last 13 days we have experienced a highly critical situation in which
population's suffering has shown no signs of abating and the situation
On August 2, Handicap International decided to release $131,800 in general funds to ensure a swift
response to the
Handicap International's Emergency Response Department acted very
to organize the distribution of clean drinking water, a key
preventing the spread of disease, in particular cholera. Drinking water is still being distributed in the
Handicap International is also helping people access water by repairing
supply systems (pumps) destroyed by the flooding. The organization has
begun distributing 7,000 kits, enabling families to purify and store
and to wash and cook.
has also begun in the districts of Hangu, Swat and Kohat. Handicap
International is involving local people in clearing away the waste and
swept along by the floods and removing stagnant water from towns,
population to return to the area and limiting the spread of disease.
project should soon be extended to other areas.
Present in the country since the 2005 earthquake, Handicap International
several projects in Pakistan and has launched two large-scale emergency
operations in the past, most recently in 2009 when 3 million people fled
fighting in the Swat Valley. Therefore, the organization was already
the regions affected by the flooding. Handicap International currently
team of around 150 people on the ground.
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Handicap International works to improve the living conditions of people living in disabling situations in post-conflict or low-income countries around the world. Our programs reduce and address the consequences of disabling accidents and disease; clear landmines and prevent mine related accidents through education; respond fast and effectively to natural and civil disasters in order to limit serious and permanent injuries and assist survivors with social and economic reintegration; and advocate for the universal recognition of the rights of the disabled through national planning and advocacy.