‘I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed … I have visited the scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this.’
These words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reveal something of the devastation inflicted on 18 million people after the worst floods in Pakistan’s living memory back in 2010.
In the immediate aftermath Tearfund provided emergency aid such as food, plastic sheets, tents, mosquito nets, blankets and water purification tablets to help people who in too many cases had lost all they possessed.
Disease was a real threat. Tearfund partner ABES opened free medical camps in 18 villages in Punjab Province and treated malnutrition, anaemia, skin infections and diarrhoea.
Staff from ABES helped thousands of patients and educated flood-affected communities about nutrition, clean drinking water and good hygiene practices.
With the poorest sections of Pakistani society bearing the brunt of the flood damage, Tearfund committed to helping their long-term recovery, backed by generous giving from supporters to our emergency appeal:
- Restoring people’s livelihoods was a priority, so we provided cash-for-work, seeds, fertiliser, animals and poultry, as well as teaching literacy and basic business skills.
- Clean water was supplied by repairing or installing wells, latrines were built and good hygiene practices were taught.
- We also helped organise communities to help themselves by repairing infrastructure, such as roads, and to plant trees to prevent soil erosion.
In 2011 and 2012 the floods returned, prompting a new wave of response by Tearfund teams and partners. Once again relief aid was followed by rehabilitation work.
Our commitment to the people of Pakistan isn’t finished yet. Over the next three years, with funding from the Scottish Government, we’ll be enhancing the lives of 3,000 vulnerable families by improving the way they farm.