Caritas Launches Appeal for Survivors of Pakistan Floods

Caritas has launched an appeal for $1m for recovery efforts in Pakistan, after flooding affected millions of people.

Heavy rains, flash floods, and dam breakages caused by Cyclone Yemyin's landfall on June 26 have caused substantial destruction in Sindh and Balochistan, driven people from their homes, damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure, and destroyed livelihoods.

According to Caritas, the subsequent flooding in Balochistan affected 900,000 people, left 300,000 homeless, and resulted in many deaths.

The flood waters continued into Sindh province, destroying dams, homes, and agricultural land in their wake. Estimates of the total number of affected households in both Sindh and Balochistan provinces are still unclear, but range as high as 2.5 million.

Efforts to provide emergency relief have been hampered by ongoing rains, washed out roads and bridges, airports, electricity grids, telephone networks and local markets. To make the situation worse, many of the affected communities are geographically remote and spread over wide areas.

Caritas warns there is the potential for an even greater humanitarian problem if food, water, health, and shelter solutions are not provided to affected populations immediately.

The Caritas Confederation will be working through Caritas Pakistan and the US-based Caritas member Catholic Relief Services. Caritas will support up to 20,000 families over a three-month period with immediate food aid, and provide medical assistance and household items lost in the flooding.

Caritas will also focus on hygiene, sanitation, and temporary shelter based on the traditional housing style of the local area when possible.

National Coordinator Disaster Management for Caritas Pakistan, Eric Dayal, said: "Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis are homeless, exposed to the elements and without even the most basic items needed for survival and the maintenance of their human dignity.

"Having lost homes, possessions, and access to traditional coping mechanisms, survivors face the challenge of protecting themselves from the elements while accessing life-saving assistance.

"The immediate response will provide affected communities with the urgent, life-saving assistance required to start returning to normalcy and eventually begin rebuilding their communities."