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Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan responds to floods

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NEW YORK/KABUL - Floods, one of the most common natural disasters in Pakistan, have recently devastated parts of Sindh Province, upper Punjab Province, North West Frontier Province, and northern areas of Pakistan. Major rivers in North West Frontier Province, Punjab, and northern Pakistan have been at extremely high levels since mid-May due to heavy winter snowfall and unprecedented high temperatures in the region over the last months.

The humanitarian agency Church World Service reports that its Pakistan/Afghanistan office (CWS-P/A) plans to assist 1,000 flood-affected families with shelter kits and food items and will further support the rehabilitation process of 500 families with provision of reconstruction materials and livelihood kits. This will be a six-month project. The security situation in the affected areas is normal and under control, and access to the areas is possible.

CWS-Pakistan/Afghanistan is coordinating with its local partners in Sindh regarding the flood's impact on communities. CWS-P/A is also coordinating with other national and international NGOs in the affected areas and with Pak-Humanitarian Forum.

CWS Interim Director for Emergency Response Donna Derr notes, "This year Pakistan has been affected by months of flooding, severely impacting numerous provinces. Existing local resources to respond are now diminished. So support is critical if we are to effectively help as flooding continues."

All the rivers of Pakistan flow into the Indus River in Sindh Province, which has caused flooding in parts of the province. Earlier this week (Aug. 2), the meteorological office forecasted more thunderstorms and widespread rains in Badin, Tharparkar, Thatta, Hyderabad, and Mirpurkhas Districts of Sindh Province. This will increase the danger for further flooding in the country, especially Sindh Province.

According to the Emergency Relief Cell of the Sindh government, the recent floods have affected a total of 4,791 people from 74 villages. The Revenue Department reports that already some 90 percent of areas with mud houses are submerged.

The flood-affected in Sindh Province have received little emergency assistance from the government or non-governmental organizations. Financial resources are urgently required to mitigate the suffering of the people in the flood-hit areas.

Contributions to support CWS response efforts may be made online, by mail: Church World Service, Niger Food Insecurity (Acct. #640-W), P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515, or by calling 800-297-1516.

Media Contacts: Ann Walle, CWS/New York, 212-870-2654; awalle@churchworldservice.org