“The big question with the Pakistan floods is how many times can the Pakistani people be run over and get up again,’’ says Christchurch-based aid and development expert, Nick Clarke.
Mr Clarke was last in Pakistan on a monitoring visit for post-earthquake conditions and results in April 2007.A visit to the North West Frontier Province areas last year was called off because of security risks.
The latest round of disaster in the form of the flooding would be another body blow to a “tough, resilient” people who had been hit by a series of disasters in recent years.
“While they are tough people you start to wonder just how long they can cope with repeated major blows,’’ said Nick Clarke.
Natural disasters combined with insurgency and conflict had been a bad combination for anyone to deal with.
“Having been displaced by 2009 conflict many of the Pakistan people would have just gone home and got started again only to have the very little they had taken away again.”
The traumatised condition of many Pakistanis plus the very strong cultural beliefs they adhere to meant that it was vital to try to offer help that was “internationally backed but very deliberately Pakistani in nature.’’
Christchurch based Christian World Service partnered with Pakistan’s Church World Service Pakistan and Afghanistan which offered a Pakistan compatible aid and development service.
Christian World Service has launched an appeal for Pakistan and is supporting both their Pakistan partners and global partner group the ACT (Action By Churches Together) Alliance appeal for Pakistan.
Meanwhile Church World Service reports that conditions in Pakistan are being made worse by price hikes in food caused by the flooding.
Vegetable prices were tipped to rise by 100 per cent.
Church World Service had handed out 70 tons of food items for households in Balochistan and Khyber Pakthunkhwa and was in the process of buying another 630 tons of food.
Another additional 700 tons of food is to be handed out in the next month.
They were trying to hand out such aid items directly to people wherever possible.
Recent media coverage of aid efforts had shown how relief items were often being dropped on communities from helicopters. While this made for strong images there was no way of clearly knowing who got this aid or what they also needed.
Concerns about the insufficient or nonexistent access to healthcare and sanitation facilities were also increasing. Risks for disease outbreaks were rising daily.
Christian World Service is collecting donations for their Pakistan Appeal now.
Donations can be made online at www.cws.org.nz, by credit card Phone 0800 74 73 72 or by mail to PO Box 22652 Christchurch 8142.
For further information contact:
Nick Clarke, CWS International Programmes 03 366 9274 ext 106
021 206 8521
Pauline McKay, CWS National Director
021 289 1225
Church World Service Pakistan Deputy Director Disaster Management Program
Allan Calma (cellphone only)
+92 301 5801621