Caritas is urging donors to boost support to operations in Pakistan following floods that have affected 17 million people.
Caritas will appeal for funds to extend its three month emergency operation to six months. Caritas is concerned that large numbers of people have not yet been reached.
“An enormous number of people need help and Caritas is boosting its operations to ensure they are taken care of. Funds have been promised for current operations but we need to ensure that this money is donated and is transformed into food, tents, water and medicine as soon as possible and before the situation deteriorates further,” says Anila Gill, national director of Caritas Pakistan.
Over 1,500 people have died so far in the flooding. Many more are at risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera and stomach problems.
The challenges presented by the floods are enormous. Some areas are still inaccessible. The number of people who need help is massive. Prices of food and petrol have shot up as supply has been strangled by the floods.
Caritas has been providing food, water, shelter, hygiene and cooking items, as well as medical support in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh.
Caritas is also working with communities to identify infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and irrigation channels, that needs to be rebuilt. By doing this it will reconnect people to markets and other services.
A US$5.5 million (4.3 million euro) emergency appeal for funds was launched by Caritas in the early days of the disaster. However, as the number of needy expands rapidly, Caritas is planning to ask for almost double this.
As Pakistani’s struggle with the loss of their homes, possessions and livelihoods, their one hope is that the floods will subside before the planting season in September. If farmers are unable to plant because fields are water-logged, this increases the possibility of a hunger crisis brought on by poor crops at harvesting time.
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