Earthquake relief update 24 Oct 2005
Cradled among the rugged, lofty mountains and the picturesque landscape of the lush Neelum river, this quaint and diverse city of culture and architecture is now a mass of ruins.
When Sara Sywulka, FHUS Developmental Relief Coordinator flew into Muzaffarabad by helicopter, her description was one of irony-an impressive, lush river valley contrasted by great devastation. White and green tents have become replacements for the centuries-old buildings that lie in heaps. A former school, now completely flattened serves as a helicopter pad for the relief deliveries bringing aid around-the-clock.
As she walked along the main road where 100+ year-old buildings were completely destroyed, Sara had an opportunity to talk with people about their livelihood.
"A group of women we talked to said their husbands have jobs in Muzaffarabad . . . jobs in government, businesses, driving cabs, etc," she explained. "These people are not able to work now and it's not clear how soon, if at all, they will be able to return to work, given that the buildings they worked in have been damaged or destroyed. Even if the buildings are still standing, people are afraid to go in."
The FHUS team also had the opportunity to witness the well-organized relief efforts of FH's partners. Over 1000 beneficiaries have already received much-needed food, aid supplies and winterized tents from relief efforts. And, a source for more tents has been secured along with thousands of individual hygiene kits that are expected to arrive.
However, as the early signs of winter descend upon the devastated region, relief reports estimate that of the 25,000 tents that have already arrived, a total of 450,000 are needed to provide sufficient shelter. Additionally, 440,000 of the estimated 1 million needing food assistance have been helped, but this is only sufficient to cover dietary needs for a few days (USAID, Fact Sheet #11).
Because of your generous donations, Food for the Hungry is able to continue providing relief through the distribution of winterized tents, blankets, food and water and other emergency relief supplies. There are still many more survivors who are in need of food, medical attention and shelter from the winter conditions. Please pray for the safety of FH staff and our partner organizations as we continue to minister in this region.
If you would like to continue supporting these efforts, you can give a gift online or by calling us toll free at 1-877-780-4261.