Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aid for Pakistan: an appeal to Canadians

Khaista, which translates as 'beautiful' in pashto being treated by Dr Ikram. The 4 year old was suffering with fever and cough. Her mother says she has been playing in contaminated water near her house.
If you have been watching the news you will know that there is a desperate situation going on in Pakistan with the flooding that's occurred and with millions left homeless. There is a real need for donations from Canadians and on Monday, the government announced a matching pledge:
For every eligible donation by individual Canadians to Canadian registered charities, and earmarked for efforts to assist the Pakistan relief efforts, Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Pakistan Floods Relief Fund.
Canadian aid groups are there on the ground working, including this one, The Humanitarian Coalition. You can follow all of their updates at their site or on twitter (the Humanitarian Coalition groups include CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Quebec and Save the Children Canada).

Abdul Sattar the father of Mohammad Ilyas, stands over his 3 year old son who's suffering from bloody diarrhoea. He'd been suffering for the last 3 days prior to being brought to the clinic and given intravenous fluids.
(Both photos: Jason Tanner/Save the Children)

Here is some information on the crisis from their latest update explaining what the groups are doing on the ground and the need for contributions:

• Save the Children is one of the largest humanitarian agencies responding to the crisis in Pakistan and has reached more than 69,000 children and families with medical care, food, tents, and shelter and hygiene kits. Our goal is to reach two-million people within the next six months.

• As one of the only aid groups able to reach the most remote areas, Save the Children has provided health coverage to a total of 6837 people in Shikarpur and Sukkur districts in five days.

• So far, Oxfam staff on the ground in Pakistan has reached more than 330,000 flood survivors with shelter, hygiene kits, cooked food, cash vouchers and clean water.

• In Ghotki, Oxfam, with the help of its partners LHDP, provided cooked food to 7000 individual, installed 25 latrines and 20 hand pumps and provided 152 hygiene kits.

• CARE has reached 22,279 beneficiaries with health care, non food items and tents. Another 300 tents and non food items are being transported to Swat for distribution.

• CARE is supporting 4 BHUs in Upper Swat and providing PHC services; approximately 12,000 patients (23% men, 31% women and 46% children) have been treated through two mobile teams and four static units.

The contaminated flood waters and poor living conditions threaten to provoke a public health disaster among the flood survivors. More donations are required if the members are to prevent a second wave of unnecessary deaths.

More devastating (and heartbreaking) pictures here.

Canadian and western nations' donations have been slower in coming for Pakistan, particularly when compared with the recent Haiti disaster. So let's give the effort a push!

Donations can be made at the Humanitarian Coalition's (Canadian!) site.