Torrential monsoon rains in Pakistan over the past few weeks have left tens of thousands of people homeless in the provinces of Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
ShelterBox has been distributing emergency shelter using prepositioned stocks in Islamabad to families affected in these provinces through the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), a not-for-profit organisation in the South Asian country.
‘We have partnered with NRSP on previous deployments in Pakistan since the Kashmir earthquake in 2005,’ said ShelterBox Head of Operations Ross Preston.
‘Through this partnership and thanks to our supporters we’ve been able to deliver our disaster relief tents rapidly to hundreds of flood survivors in Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rahim Yar Khan so far.’
Over the past two years Pakistan has suffered devastating floods, which affected around eight million people in 2011 and an estimated 20 million the year before as well as large-scale structural damage over both years.
While the number of affected families is far lower than previous years, canals in Punjab have burst their banks submerging low-lying areas of Sindh province as well as cutting off communication links in Balochistan. Livelihoods have been destroyed leading to homelessness, food shortages and hunger.
‘The families living in these provinces have suffered continuous devastation from years of flooding and are constantly having to recover,’ said Ross. ‘The NRSP will deliver more ShelterBox tents to those most in need across the flooded areas as it continues with assessments.’
ShelterBox has deployed to Pakistan fourteen times, this being the fourth response to flooding.