Pakistan: Renewed heavy rains and flash floods hamper relief efforts
Unrelenting downpours, fresh floods and landslides are hampering efforts to provide urgently needed food to millions of people displaced or stranded by floods across Pakistan last week.
Although water had begun to recede in some areas, new rains have closed roads and washed out bridges, making it difficult for aid workers to move around the country. Heavy rain is forecast to further lash the country for the next 36 hours.
"Until the water recedes or we have access to boats or helicopters, it will be nearly impossible for our teams to access some of the worst affected areas for assessments and delivery of relief supplies," said Shaharyar Bangash, World Vision's Programme Manager in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province.
Delays in providing aid means that food shortages and hunger are becoming a problem. Many crops have been wiped out, so food prices are rising- putting even those who weren't affected directly by the floods at risk.
"We are very concerned about the people who are depending on us to deliver food and provide medical care," said Bangash. "World Vision is working hard to find creative ways around the barriers created by the flooding, but we are in a very difficult situation of needing to balance the safety of our staff against the needs of the millions affected by the floods."
World Vision canceled a distribution in Bhutni Village due to rising water levels and fears of flash floods. Rainwater seeped into the new emergency health clinic World Vision opened in Kandaro in Lower Dir last week, damaging some of the medical supplies and forcing staff to relocate to a nearby shop until a better permanent location is found.
A World Vision assessment team in Peshawar and a team of engineers travelling to Buner in Lower Dir also had to turn back after floods threatened to close the road behind them. A shortage of petrol and diesel are also creating challenges.
World Vision has already delivered food and water to more than 21,000 people living in school buildings and on what's left of the main roads in Charsadda and Nowshera. World Vision plans to distribute water purification packets and hygiene kits to 150,000 people, tents to 22,500, cooking items to 75,000, and food to at least 37,500. The organisation also aims to provide cash-for-work activities to 1,000 people, open seven health posts, set up 20 child-friendly spaces and 20 women-friendly spaces to provide a safe and comfortable environment for children and women to interact with peers and receive support.
World Vision continues to work closely and in partnership with the United Nations and other non-governmental organisations through the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum to ensure that effective, efficient, and timely assistance is given to the children, women, and men affected by the floods.
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