Oxfam responds as flooding in Pakistan affects over 5 million
September 15, 2011
International aid agency Oxfam is mounting an emergency response to get aid to millions affected by flooding in Sindh province in Pakistan. This is the second year of flooding in Pakistan, and many of those affected had not fully recovered from last year’s mega-floods.
“It hasn’t stopped raining in Sindh for the last 10 days. Large swathes of land are underwater and people are desperately awaiting relief,” said Neva Khan, the Country Director of Oxfam in Pakistan, who visited some of the worst affected areas in lower Sindh.
Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada said: “The millions of women and men affected were still recovering from last year’s disaster and many are seeing the progress washed away. They have now lost their crops, homes and livestock for the second time. They need immediate life-saving relief.”
Some 5.3 million people are now affected by the floods in Pakistan and the situation is expected to worsen in the coming days. More than 4.2 million acres of land has been flooded and 1.59 million acres of standing crops destroyed in Sindh.
Oxfam will be supplying clean water and sanitation to nearly 850,000 people affected by the flooding. It is already delivering water to two of the worst affected districts of Sindh province, Sanghar and Mirpurhkhas, while rescue and evacuation operations are also being carried out in Sanghar, Tando Allahyar, Umerkot. Oxfam also has plans to help people get access to food and is developing projects to help people earn a living.
With the government of Pakistan calling for international support, Oxfam urged Canada and other donor governments to dig deep and respond to the urgent needs of the women, men and children affected.
Oxfam also warned that slow repairs to river embankments and other protective measures after last year’s flooding made the population more vulnerable this year. Embankments in Sindh province were reportedly increased by only 2 or 3 feet rather than the recommended 6 feet. The agency called on the Pakistan government and donors to invest more in preventive measures, such as flood-resistant housing and effective early warning systems.
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Note to Editors:
Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973. The 2010 floods were the worst ever in recorded history of Pakistan, affecting 20 million people, with 1,985 killed and another 2,964 injured. Oxfam responded by mounting its biggest-ever worldwide humanitarian response. In the past year, Oxfam and its partners have helped 2.4 million people affected by the disaster. Our assistance included emergency search and rescue, clean water and sanitation, cash grants and cash for work schemes, and shelter.
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