Oxfam is mounting a humanitarian response to the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan working with a network of local partner organizations. Relief efforts will focus on two of the hardest-hit provinces of Balochistan and Sindh in the south-west of the country. The response will target 25,000 families and households affected by the floods.
Oxfam’s partners are already working to help displaced people and they will decide on the most important support that local people most need, but efforts will likely be concentrated on emergency food, water and sanitation, including things like personal hygiene kits and temporary shelters.
Oxfam is seeking to raise over $5 million to channel into local organizations over the next 12 months to expand their work. The international aid organization is warning that recovery and rebuilding efforts will take time and will require a very large coordinated international response.
Oxfam Pakistan staff say the wild and heavy monsoon rain has produced a climate-induced humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Pakistan has declared a national emergency with more than 33 million people, or 15 per cent of the population, affected; more than 1,000 people killed; a million homes and two million hectares of crop lands destroyed. These figures will grow. Oxfam is calling on a proportionate huge response of aid by the international community.
Farah Munawar, Resilience and Livelihoods Project Manager, Oxfam Pakistan, said: “Many of those who have lost their homes are now living on roadsides, leading to serious security and safety issues specifically for women and girls, but also the wider community. There is insufficient access to clean drinking water, hygiene, toilets and sanitation facilities. Women and girls have extremely poor access to hygiene supplies.
“Affected people in Pakistan require urgent access to basic resources and facilities, including clean water, food and shelter.”
Syed Shahnawaz Ali, Country Director, Oxfam Pakistan, said: “We have to say it as it is — the humanitarian and environmental devastation we are experiencing is a result of climate change. Floods are not uncommon in Pakistan, but this is flooding on a scale bigger than anything we have ever seen.
“The rain patterns have become very unpredictable, and we are bracing for further downpours in September. It seems very likely that the scale of the challenges we face are bigger than we have seen reported so far. Further work is required to assess the full extent of this unfolding crisis.
“Oxfam is ramping up relief efforts and we’re calling for coordinated international action to tackle the enormous scale of this catastrophe. Only a well-resourced international response can prevent further loss of human life and injury over the coming weeks and months.
“It remains deeply unjust that Pakistan, which is responsible for less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the countries most vulnerable to severe weather due to the effects of climate change. It should be clear that Pakistan should not be made to pay the price for the carbon emissions of the richest countries in the world.”
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