Pakistan Flood Updated: Balancing the Need for Winter Relief and Early RecoveryWritten by Church World Service
January 5, 2011
The winter season is now upon the northern areas of Pakistan with below freezing temperatures and snow in some areas. In some places, the temperatures started dropping a couple of months ago; for many families, the lack of proper winter shelter, heating, and clothing poses risks to health and ultimately to survival. Humanitarian organizations currently emphasize the importance of meeting the needs for communities to survive the winter. Health professionals continue to report increases in cases of upper and lower respiratory tract infections, particularly in the elderly and children. Without timely assistance, illness could lead to unnecessary deaths.
In addition to the immediate needs caused by the winter season, most organizations are transitioning from relief to recovery initiatives. Almost six months after the floods first hit parts of the country, individuals still lack basic necessities including shelter and food. However, the important aspect to long-term recovery is to initiate rehabilitation activities that will result in sustainable food security, transitional or permanent housing, and restoration of infrastructure such as roads, schools, and health facilities.
CWS-P/A has completed months of relief initiatives with some ongoing activities, particularly related to health. CWS-P/A has initiated recovery activities and is assisting communities to meet their long-term needs.
CWS-P/A completed distribution of 24,200 food packages that benefited 137,400 individuals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Sindh. In the same provinces, CWS-P/A distributed non-food items, which also included 2,010 tents and 1,000 plastic sheets, which benefited 88,000 individuals.
CWS-P/A continues to provide health services through basic health units and ten mobile health units in Mansehra, Kohistan, Swat, and D. I. Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Khairpur and Sukkur in Sindh. By mid-December 2010, the health teams conducted more than 100,000 consultations and hundreds of health sessions.
Initial stages of a food security initiative in Khairpur District, Sindh Province were completed. The activities included the selection of fifty-three target villages and 2,700 beneficiaries. Other activities included staff training on topics including Sphere and HAP, report writing, effective communication skills, and social organization and community development. For beneficiaries, training included orientation on effective use of voucher scheme and production technology of major crops.
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