The international disaster relief charity ShelterBox is sending an emergency response team to Pakistan following severe flooding on a scale not seen since 2010. It’s launched an emergency appeal to help people survive the deadly floods that have left a third of the country underwater.
More than 33 million people have been affected after fierce monsoon rains deluged vast parts of the country, with flash floods sweeping away people’s homes and livelihoods. The need for emergency shelter is staggering.
ShelterBox’s Director of International Programmes, Euan Crawshaw says: “The humanitarian need in Pakistan is on a scale not seen since the worst flooding in living memory in 2010 and the situation is sadly only going to get worse with millions of people displaced and left homeless.
“The need for emergency shelter is staggering and growing and our team going to Pakistan will be assessing which communities are most in need, what we can do to help them rebuild, and how to get them the shelter support they need.
“This huge crisis is already affecting 33 million people across the country and this number will continue to rise significantly given further monsoon rains forecast this month and the gradual onset of flooding.”
Waterways that feed the main Indus River that runs through Pakistan have burst their banks, flooding large areas of dry land, and leaving people in desperate need of water, food, medicine, and shelter.
The death toll has topped 1,000 people and still climbing, and many thousands of people have been left with nowhere to live after their homes were damaged or destroyed.
Westcountry-based ShelterBox will have a specialist team on the ground this week, to assess the emergency shelter needs of those displaced by the flooding.
ShelterBox’s Regional Director for Asia, Haroon Altaf, will be deploying with a team this week. He says: “The flood waters are fast and lethal, and they do not discriminate. They are sweeping away anything in their path including people, homes, and livelihoods – and the monsoon rains are expected to return through September.
“When there is so little dry land, and entire communities cut off, the logistics of getting shelter aid to the people in greatest need presents a complicated challenge.”
Pakistan has 160 districts, and 116 have been affected by the flooding. Already remote areas are now inaccessible, communication lines are damaged, 150 bridges have been destroyed, and even water transport can be risky with so much debris.
The flooding is the worst Pakistan has endured since 2010, when ShelterBox responded – helping thousands of families with shelter aid, delivered in its iconic green boxes, to help them start to rebuild their lives.
Since then, the charity that provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families worldwide who have lost their homes to disaster and conflict has been continuously evolving to meet the needs of displaced people better. It no longer provides aid only in boxes, instead providing combinations of aid that are locally appropriate and packaged in a variety of ways to make a tangible difference.
That’s possible thanks to robust local partnerships with Rotary, NGOs, and local authorities that often help ShelterBox get aid to some of the hardest-to-reach locations in the aftermath of a disaster.
Haroon adds: “With so much attention on other crises, resources are fewer. They may not be sufficient and that’s deeply concerning given that the floods will get worse in some parts of Pakistan over the next few weeks.
“It’s going to take time, money, a huge humanitarian effort, and international support to help people in Pakistan to fully recover which is why we’ll be assessing how ShelterBox can help those most severely affected.”
As well as sending a response team to Pakistan, ShelterBox has teams working to support communities in Ukraine, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Syria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.
To find out more about ShelterBox and its work in Pakistan visit shelterbox.org. Your support today will provide lifesaving aid for families affected by the flooding in Pakistan. Any additional money raised will help ShelterBox provide emergency shelter to families affected by disasters around the world.