Since late July, many South Asian countries including Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan witnessed heavy monsoon rains and strong winds, leading to landslides, severe flooding, and causing huge loss of lives and properties, affecting tens of millions of people.
The worst hit country is Pakistan where torrential rains persist. Flooding in north-west Pakistan has worsened considerably since 30 July. According to government figures, more than 1,600 people have died, 500,000 people made homeless and around 12 million people have been affected. Thousands of people are seeking shelter in public buildings or living in inadequate shelters without proper sanitation and access to clean water. These are the worst floods that Pakistan has experienced in 80 years.
Floods and landslides which started on 21 July continue to cause chaos across 22 districts in Nepal, affecting around 35,000 people. Livestock has been lost, agricultural land inundated and almost 2,000 homes damaged. In Afghanistan, heavy rains on 28 July caused extensive flash flooding in the central and eastern provinces, with 71 people dead, 84 people injured, 1,380 houses destroyed and 6,730 families affected. Flash floods hit the states of Jammu and Kashmir in India after torrential rains on Aug 6, reporting 150 people dead, 300 people injured and 400 missing. Infrastructure such as water supply has been disrupted, civil hospital and airport inundated, pumping station washed away.
Hong Kong Red Cross Action
The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) has mobilized HK$230,570 to support the International Red Cross in procuring and distributing at least 512,000 chlorine tablets and 300,000 water purification sachets to approximately 27,000 person-times in need of clean safe water in Pakistan. Prior to the floods escalation in Nepal, HKRC mobilized HK$200,000 to support the International Red Cross in Nepal to procure and distribute at least 3,500 diarrhoea prevention kits (containing oral rehydration salt, chlorine solution and soap) to approximately 21,000 person-times. HKRC is closely monitoring the flood situation in South Asia. No appeal has been launched in Hong Kong at the moment.
International Red Cross Action
Pakistan: The International Red Cross is currently seeking HK$126 million globally for providing emergency assistance to 35,000 flood-affected families in Pakistan. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the International Red Cross have been delivering food and non-food relief items including tarpaulins, blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, hurricane lamps, jerry cans, stoves and tents to more than 11,000 families. Four mobile health units and 18 medical teams are operating to provide primary health care services to the more than 15,000 patients. PRCS and the International Red Cross has been repairing tube wells and using purification equipment to provide clean drinking water people in the affected areas. Soaps and wash basins are also distributed to prevent spread of infectious water-borne diseases.
Nepal: Besides conducting intensive water, sanitation and hygiene promotion campaigns and providing diarrhoea prevention kits in the communities, Nepal Red Cross Society volunteers and District Disaster Response Team members have been mobilized for assessment and relief distribution to assist more than 1,500 families on food and non-food relief items.
India: Indian Red Cross Society has already mobilized trained State Disaster Response Team volunteers to the affected areas to distribute relief items such as tents, blankets and kitchen sets to the affected communities.
Afghanistan: Afghanistan Red Crescent Society has distributed food and non-food relief items to around 230 families, including tent, tarpaulin, blankets, kitchen set, jerry can, rice, flour and oil.
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