Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hungry flood survivors begin to steal food from aid vehicles

The latest news from Pakistan finds frustration boiling over into attacks. A couple of stories from press organizations in Asia say that people are attacking the vehicles delivering food and water. Some survivors of the flood have been without food and water for as much as four days.

The flooding has now covered one-fourth of the country bring the death toll to 1,600. At least 14 million people have had their lives disrupted by the flooding by damage to either houses or to crops.

First from Karachi News this story says the riots center around food.

Food riots have erupted in several flood-affected areas in Pakistan's Punjab province, where starving people are attacking vehicles carrying relief goods.

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) officials said that their convoy had been attacked and vehicles looted in Muzaffargarh district.

Similar attacks were reported on vehicles of the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) and IOM.

PPAF coordinator Mohammad Kamran said that their organisation has suspended the work, as the situation has turned dangerous because of widespread hunger and thirst, The Dawn reports.

Meanwhile, a local resident, Malik Asif, said that people had been without food and water for four days, and meals sent by the district government were not enough.

Next, this story from India Talkes gives us another angle on the situation.

Most refugees living on the edge of the city in temporary shelters have complained about lack of food.

Kamran said the situation turned dangerous because of widespread hunger, and police used batons to disperse an angry mob and recover looted goods.

Malik Asif of Jadeywala said people had been without food and water for four days because relief aid from the district government was insufficient.

Police also arrested five people for stealing goods from relief vehicles. One of the detained men said he did it because he ‘had nothing to eat’.

The situation was critical as more areas flooded due to breaches in the Muzaffargarh canal.

No comments: