UNICEF emergency aid arrives in Pakistan amidst continuing flood crisis
KARACHI, Pakistan, 12 August 2010 – As the worst natural disaster in living memory continues to unfold in Pakistan, a chartered airliner carrying 100 metric tonnes of UNICEF emergency relief arrived in the southern port city of Karachi early today. The shipment includes health kits, nutrition supplies, midwifery kits and tarpaulins for families affected by weeks of monsoon rains and flooding around the country.
Some of these supplies will be dispatched to the worst affected areas of Sindh Province in southern Pakistan, while the rest will be moved to other parts of the county – all with an emphasis on reaching women and children in dire need.
“UNICEF’s main supply warehouse in Copenhagen has sent these items to support our ongoing relief activities in the flood-affected areas,” said the head of the UNICEF Field Office in Sindh, Andro Shilakadze.
“This is the first major shipment of emergency supplies and we expect more to arrive in the coming days,” added Mr. Shilakadze. “Since our pre-positioned supplies in one of the major warehouses were washed out by floods, supplies received today were urgently needed.”
Supplies urgently needed
According to UN estimates, a total of 14 million people have been affected by the floods. Hundreds of thousands have received humanitarian aid, but millions more urgently need shelter, food, water, and health care. And the number affected could rise further in the coming days.
Protection and support
Over the longer term, it will be necessary to assist agricultural communities in rebuilding their livelihoods, as field crops have been destroyed by the floods in many areas.
Nearly 60 percent of the affected population are women and children, who are especially vulnerable to abuse or exploitation in crisis conditions and, therefore, need protection and psycho-social support. There is an urgent need to provide child-friendly spaces, recreation and emergency education to children in camps for the displaced, as well as shelter arrangements for orphans and children who have been separated from their families.