Save the Children Prepares to Assist Children and Families in Pakistan as Tropical Storm Phet Swamps Coastal Communities
The storm, which struck Oman as Cyclone Phet before being downgraded, forced the evacuation of thousands of people, destroyed or damaged mud homes and left the streets of many towns under water. Save the Children staff are reporting widespread damage to homes and fishing boats in Gwadar. Authorities are establishing relief camps in Thatta.
Save the Children is conducting rapid assessments in Thatta and Badin districts and has three emergency medical teams (comprising a medical doctor, lady health visitor, and medicine dispenser) now in Hyderabad. They will be deployed within the surrounding area according to greatest need. The humanitarian agency also has delivered more than 34,000 water purification sachets and three emergency medical kits (each serving 8,000 people for two weeks) to its Hyderabad office.
"This storm - like any disaster - will be particularly hard on children and very poor families. Thousands of people, many of whom live in mud houses, have lost their homes and possessions. They and their children will be exposed to the elements and susceptible to the severe summer heat. Meanwhile, the lack of sufficient food and the spread of disease are real threats to children as they will be surrounded by contaminated water and lack sanitation facilities," said Hussein Halane, associate vice president for Save the Children's department of humanitarian response.
Save the Children emergency response experts in Pakistan say that shelter, clean water, food, and medical care constitute the most immediate needs of the vulnerable families.
Save the Children, which also responded to the mass displacement of families in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province a year ago and the massive earthquake of 2005, has been serving the children of Pakistan and their families for three decades.