Flooding devastates millions in Pakistan
The Pakistan Red Crescent Society, which has branches and volunteers across the country, has been helping survivors since the flooding began by delivering food, health services, shelter and relief items (including hygiene kits and cooking equipment).
Monsoon rains have caused extensive flash flooding throughout Pakistan, killing more than a thousand people and causing widespread damage. Over 12 million people have been affected, and the rains are expected to worsen this week.
The Canadian Red Cross is actively responding and has already deployed four mobile health units and a seven-person paramedic team to affected communities. A Canadian Red Cross distribution of emergency relief supplies for 400 families will take place in the coming days. In addition, the Canadian Red Cross has contributed $2.5 million to the International Red Cross appeal including an international delegate to lead the Field Assessment team and 900 much-needed tents.
Despite these efforts, the scale of the disaster is massive and more help is urgently needed.
Canadians wishing to help support relief efforts underway in Pakistan are encouraged to contribute by donating online, calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Pakistan Floods 2010” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.
In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.