Monday 17 October 2011
Latest commitment of aid arrives for Pakistan
ShelterBox tents are a common sight within the flooded Sindh province
The latest consignment of the five thousand ShelterBoxes has arrived in Pakistan as the poorest communities continue to be affected by floodwaters that have submerged the Sindh province.
UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) reports that the floods have affected a total of 5.8 million people.
ShelterBox were one of the first humanitarian organisations to respond and are continuing to lead the emergency shelter provision. Aid is being distributed through specifically trained country partners NRSP (National Rural Support Program). They are working alongside UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the WFP (World Food Program) in a collaborative effort to coordinate the humanitarian response.
Mark Pearson, ShelterBox Field Operations Specialist, has been leading the ShelterBox effort. He says that the country’s poorest have been the most severely affected.
‘The Sindh province is one of the most deprived areas of Pakistan. As many rich landowners have moved to Karachi for safety, the majority of the population left behind are low caste Hindus and farm labourers so they have been made even more vulnerable,’ he said.
The scale of the disaster, spanning ten districts of Sindh province, means there are no large areas of land available to relocate multiple families. Instead, ShelterBox tents have been distributed on raised riverbanks where the risk of more flooding is minimised.
Mark also highlighted the impact of prepositioned stock in Badin, Pakistan. ‘It’s vital to save lives. We distributed the aid immediately following the floods and by the time we used all the prepositioned stock it gave us more time to respond with additional aid dispatched to bolster the response,’ he added.
‘Due to the sheer number of ShelterBox tents distributed, we have gained a massive presence within the region, receiving recognition from the authorities, aid organisations and, of course, the families who have received the emergency aid at a time they need it most.’