Pakistan government officials have issued new flood warnings as monsoon rains continue to strand hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country, washing away homes, schools, roads and bridges. The United Nations estimates 980,000 people have lost their homes or been forced to evacuate, and the World Food Programme (WFP) reports 1.8 million people have a critical need for food supplies. Save the Children, in partnership with WFP, will distribute emergency food packages to 6,000 of the most vulnerable families in the remote areas of Swat Valley.
"Many families in these areas ran out of food days ago" said Mohammed Qazilbash, Save the Children's spokesperson in Islamabad. "Our relief teams are walking on foot through areas where roads have been destroyed, in order to reach families who have yet to receive aid."
Save the Children is also providing emergency health services in Swat, treating more than 1,000 people in the last four days.
"There has been a significant increase in complaints of acute respiratory infections, diarrhea and malaria," reported Qazilbash, "And conditions are expected to become worse as the heavy rains continue this week. We are particularly concerned about the young children who are living in temporary shelters without access to clean water."
In other areas, including DI Khan, Buner and Allai, Save the Children's medical teams are treating hundreds of flood victims and providing hygiene kits, plastic shelters, food ration packs and household supplies.
Save the Children has been working with children and families in Pakistan for more than 30 years. The humanitarian agency provided assistance to those affected by Tropical Storm Phet this past June, the conflict in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province in 2009, the flash floods in Peshawar, Kybery Agency and Rajanpur in August and December of 2008, and the massive earthquake in 2005.
For more information on Save the Children's response in Pakistan and for ways to help, please visit our Pakistan Flood Emergency page.
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