Gori Bibi was fast asleep in her home in Badin district in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh when she suddenly awoke, soaking wet. Rising from her bed, she found her house surrounded by water which was rising rapidly. She quickly woke her husband and nine children and they escaped the floodwaters with just the clothes they had on.
Recent rainfall has exacerbated the situation in Sindh Province, where communities are still recovering from last year’s floods. Nearly one million homes have been partially or fully destroyed and an estimated 142,000 people are in temporary camps. More than 240 people have died and over 400,000 others have been displaced as torrential rains and flooding continue in parts of Pakistan.
In response, the American Red Cross has provided $50,000 in aid to help in the immediate relief effort. With this and other international support, the Pakistan Red Crescent plans to provide emergency relief aid to 105,000 people in five of the worst affected districts of Sindh over the next four months. In 2010, through the generosity of the American people, the American Red Cross sent $8.2 million to support relief efforts after historic floods devastated Pakistan.Gori bibi is preparing a meal for her family with the food that she received from PRCS. The Red Crescent provided life saving emergency aid in response to the floods in Sindh Pakistan. Photo courtesy IFRC.
The severity of flooding has caused damage to vital services and road networks. Many of the affected areas remain inaccessible, making it difficult to gain a full picture of the scale of this disaster.
Gori Bibi’s family has been living on the road side for more than two weeks. As she sat by the road hoping that her husband would find work for the day, she contemplated how to provide food for her large family.
“We have gotten by with one meal a day,” she said. “The children are hungry.”
Red Crescent volunteers have already provided more than 14,000 families, like the Bibi’s with food and other relief items, including kitchen and hygiene kits, tents and tarps.
“There is an urgent need to provide immediate and life saving relief to the millions affected,” said Steen Frederiksen, an Red Cross responder in Pakistan. “With homes damaged, land submerged, and health care and sanitation facilities inaccessible, those affected by the floods are going to need assistance for many months to come.”
Mobile health teams are providing emergency health support to affected people living in camps in Badin, Mirpurkhas and Benazirabad.
“The risk of disease spreading is high as thousands of men, women and children are forced to live in overcrowded and unsanitary relief camps, and there is insufficient access to clean drinking water,” said Dr. Mohammad Shahzad with the Pakistan Red Crescent.
To learn more about the Red Cross and Red Crescent efforts in Pakistan, please read our one-year update.