World Vision relief efforts scale up in Pakistan as Ramadan begins

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 12 /CNW/ - As the scale of the crisis in Pakistan continues to grow, World Vision is stepping up efforts to meet the needs of families affected by the floods and who now face a month of fasting during Ramadan.

So far, World Vision has provided food and water to 21,000 people in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province (KPK), and yesterday distributed shelter kits, cooking implements and gas cylinders to families in Pashtun Garhi. The aid agency will soon start distributions of floor mats, bedding and food kits containing flour, sugar, rice, beans, tea, dates and oil to families in Charsada, Nowshera and Peshawar.

World Vision has opened five health clinics in Lower Dir over the last two weeks. More than 1,100 patients have been treated for acute respiratory infections, skin infections and diarrhea.

However, bad weather continues to hamper the response. Rains and fresh floods are creating a miserable start to Ramadan; the Islamic month of fasting, which begins today in Pakistan. Although devastated and hungry, not observing the Ramadan fast is unimaginable for most people, especially in the KPK, which has been the hardest hit by floods.

QUOTES

"The communication network is a big problem for us. We cannot access our teams when they are in the field during rains. Delivery of medicine is yet another big challenge we face in the wake of the damaged Khazana Bypass Bridge." - Dr. Rasheed Ahmad, World Vision's Area Manager for Lower Dir.

"Evidence of the severity of the disaster in Pakistan is growing by the hour and Canadians are just now realizing the scale of destruction. Imagine having your home swept away and then carrying your children through dangerously high flood waters to safety. It's a critical opportunity for us to help families caught in a nightmare that's getting worse, not better." - Dave Toycen, President & CEO, World Vision Canada.

CONTEXT

Pakistan's deadly floods have affected more than 14 million people in six areas of Pakistan: Baluchistan, Gilgit Baltistan, KPK, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Punjab and Sindh. Most of those affected have lost houses, belongings, crops and livestock, and are surviving on outside relief and occasional handouts while living in the open. Floodwaters continue to wreak havoc, devastating entire villages and damaging crops and livestock, as they now make their way into the southern province of Sindh.

Canadians wishing to help can make a donation by visiting WorldVision.ca or by calling: 1-800-268-5528 (English), 1-800-363-5021 (French).

World Vision has been working in Pakistan since 1992, focusing on emergency relief and response, child protection, HIV and AIDS awareness, sustainable economic development, health and hygiene, and empowering women. World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. To learn more about World Vision's work, see www.worldvision.ca

SOURCE CRISIS IN PAKISTAN

For further information: For further information:

For pictures and interviews with World Vision experts, contact:
Britt Hamilton, 905-565-6200 x.3973, cell: 416-419-1321, britt_hamilton@WorldVision.ca
Amy Fuller, 905-565-6200 x.2151, cell: 416-671-0086, amy_fuller@WorldVision.ca

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CRISIS IN PAKISTAN

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